Labour councillors from the Holgate ward are hopeful of some movement on plans to improve the riverside route between Scarborough Bridge and Jubilee Terrace. Having lobbied for these improvements on their residents’ behalf for several years, the Council’s executive will receive an update on Thursday that should remove some of the last obstacles and allow their proposals to progress.
The route, used by countless cyclists and pedestrians to access the city centre from the north-west, badly needs upgrading, particularly in light of controversial plans to close Leeman Road as part of the York Central project, although those plans are now subject to a public inquiry following hundreds of objections and a successful petition campaign by the Labour councillors. However, if those plans are approved, the riverside path will become the only remaining direct route with uninterrupted 24 hour access between the city centre and the 1,466 properties in the road’s vicinity.
Over the last few years, in anticipation of this looming possibility, Ward Councillors been lobbying the Council to address concerns that the path is too narrow, that it can feel unsafe at night due to poor lighting and no CCTV, and that it’s regularly cut off due to flooding or even just standing water. Their proposed solutions include:
- Widening the path for pedestrians and cyclists to comfortably share
- Increasing the lighting along the length of the path
- Adding CCTV cameras
- Raising parts of the path that are most at risk of flooding
- Addressing inaccessible barriers at the Jubilee Terrace end
- Repairing sections of the wall between the path and the railway.
The update to the council will address efforts to manage land ownership issues on a section of land that runs adjacent to the path. This being the main obstacle standing in the way of progressing the proposals, it is hopeful that once this is resolved plans for the upgrade can be approved.
Councillor Kallum Taylor said: “Irrespective of the plans for York Central, this popular but problematic route needs improving anyway. However, those plans (which include the potential closure of Leeman Road) increase the urgency for the Council to get on with it. After raising this for almost three years now it’s encouraging to see the administration finally acknowledge this in public and confirm that they share our aspiration. Modest, but necessary, improvements would make a massive difference here for so many people.”
Councillor Rachel Melly added: “We are pleased that these concerns which are shared by hundreds, if not thousands, of people who use this route, are finally being given meaningful credence by the Council. Provided they maintain a sense of urgency to get a funded proposal on the table for consultation, we will support them in their efforts and, as we always have done, urge them to work with us, and the community who know and use the route, to get the most out of them.”