York suffers badly from congestion and associated poor air quality. Transport represents nearly 30% of local carbon emissions.
If we want to get to net zero in York by 2030 (where we don’t add any more carbon to the atmosphere) we need to minimize car travel and increase active travel like walking and cycling by about 50% and bus use by around 35% before 2030. However, York’s bus services, cycle and walking routes are a poor quality alternative to the car.
Pledge – Reverse the Blue Badge ban.
Labour will make York accessible for everybody.
Labour will reverse the Liberal Democrat Party and Green councillors’ Blue Badge ban.
We will create a joined up transport plan by 2024 to get York moving again, with improved, cleaner and more affordable ways to get into and around York.
The polices that follow flow from the Pledge…(and are equal priorities):
We need an open and honest conversation about getting about York:
• Labour will engage and consult widely with York’s citizens and explore ‘getting around’ options (including car share, e-bikes and integrated systems) to help people get across York. We’ll look at transport schemes that have worked, and those that haven’t in similar cities (and nearby villages) in the UK and across Europe.
• We’ll develop a local transport plan by the UK Government’s April 2024 deadline which will then enable us to reduce congestion and help people get about the city better as well as meeting our net zero targets. Included in the plan will be an effective green strategy for freight and logistics.
• A1237 dualling and upgrades will be delivered alongside measures to remove congestion and unnecessary through-traffic in the city, improve air quality and create better options to travel on foot, bike and bus within the city.
We need high levels of investment in improving bus, cycling and walking facilities:
• We’ll deliver the Bus Service Improvement Plan by 2025 and bid for its continuation.
• We need reliable and affordable bus services, coordinated timetabling that caters for cross and round city movement, and improved bus shelters, with accurate real-time information.
• We’ll deliver price concessions for young people and people on low incomes, with daily fares capped for all.
• We’ll partner with Active Travel England – based in York – and we’ll work with them, as well as other experts, to develop a traffic circulation plan that makes the most of the space we have in York. This will ensure everyone can get to where they want to go in a way that is best for them and the environment.
• We’ll take action to enforce the rules on bus lanes, yellow-hatched boxes, and illegal parking.
• We’ll repair potholes in the roads and protect cycle lanes.
• We’ll put in place an expert council team working with local communities to co-develop schemes that meet their needs. There’ll be a real focus on effective scheme delivery and bidding for UK Government funding.
• We’ll prioritise safe, well-lit and joined-up cycling and walking routes to get around the city with ease and link up York’s villages (whole city cover rolled out over the next two council terms).
• We’ll set up a scheme to deliver access to cheap recycled bikes for those who can’t afford to buy.
• We’ll work with the LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and freight providers and business organisations to better manage freight deliveries into the city.
We must give disabled people better access:
• We will reverse the city centre Blue Badge ban, provide more benches and better surfaces.
• Labour will improve facilities for disabled people on buses, and other flexible transport solutions.
We will support the move to electric vehicles (EVs):
• We’ll complete plans to electrify York’s buses.
• We will set up a delivery hub to maximise efficiency of city centre deliveries, using e-cargo cycles and electric vehicles and avoiding large vehicles needing to enter the city centre as far as possible.
• We will deliver more charge points for electric vehicles – particularly where there is no off-street parking.
• We will provide e-bike options and routes for getting around York and York’s villages.