York launches ‘Our Big Transport Conversation’

City of York Council has begun a 10-week public consultation to help shape the future of transport across York and its surrounding villages.

This is the first time since 2010 that all aspects of transport in the area have been looked at together, rather than as individual projects. The consultation, which has been designed to be accessible and inclusive to everyone, will run across an online platform as well as series of in-person events and activities. It will ask residents, businesses, tourists and commuters how they currently travel, how they’d like to travel, and to explain the reasons why we need to deliver change.

A series of events is planned before and after Christmas, including fully accessible drop-in sessions in central York, as well as the project team visiting libraries and schools in villages and rural areas.

CYC is putting forward ten policy themes for discussion, which are:

  • Accessibility – so that everyone can access the areas and facilities they need and want
    Improving walking, wheelchair access, wheeling and cycling – so that these become real alternatives to driving a car
  • Shaping healthy places – offering a range of ways to move around and using the opportunity to provide better places for us to live, work and visit
  • Improving public transport – upgrading and improving our bus and rail services
  • Safeguarding the environment by cutting carbon, air pollution and noise – meeting climate change targets and improving the health of the city
  • Creating a Movement and Place plan – creating safe, connected transport networks for residents, businesses and visitors
  • Reducing car dependency – supporting people to change how they travel, and encourage those who can, to reduce their journeys by car
  • Improving freight and logistics – creating efficient access for businesses while reducing the impact of heavy vehicles
  • Effective maintenance and enforcement – so that people choosing sustainable travel are safe, and that cycling, walking and wheeling routes are well maintained

York says monitoring the transport network and financing the changes –to ensure the effectiveness of our policies and attract funding to deliver York’s new transport strategy as effectively as possible.

Councillor Pete Kilbane, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy and Transport at City of York Council, said: “Today’s launch marks the start of a really significant and far-reaching public consultation. We have ambitious targets to tackle climate change, including reducing carbon emissions from transport by 71% and reducing the number of miles travelled by car by 20% by 2030. This will not happen overnight and we know that if we are going to free up the roads for those who need to use them, we have to make improvements so that walking, cycling or taking the bus are reliable, practical and attractive options for those who can make the change. We also recognise that we need to better support our disabled residents and visitors.

“We have a wide range of ways you can take part, from accessible and wheelchair friendly drop-in sessions; school visits; our staff going out and about with the mobile library, and a comprehensive online portal. I’d really encourage everyone who travels in York to take part.”

Councillor Kate Ravilious, Joint Executive Member for the Environment and Climate Emergency, added: “Addressing climate change is crucial but it isn’t a goal on its own. We have learned and taken inspiration from other cities and put forward transport policies that bring multiple benefits including safer streets, a stronger economy, healthier spaces and cleaner air. We’re excited by the opportunities that this presents and are really looking forward to hearing the views of the city.”

The consultation comes ahead of what the council calls an important few months for the city, as York needs to prepare a new Local Transport Plan by summer 2024. “This consultation will help us write that plan and pave the way to work with the new mayor of the incoming York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority,” it says. “Once the Plan is finalised and approved by Full Council, anticipated to happen in Spring 2024, we will then put our case to government and seek funding for the improvements we want to make in the decades to come.”

In addition to the conversation around transport, CYC is also seeking feedback on air quality in York and specifically on the measures to improve air quality proposed in its draft Fourth Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP4). The plan outlines the action we will take to further improve air quality over the next 5 years, to go beyond health-based National Air Quality Objectives in all areas and work towards meeting World Health Organisation (WHO) Air Quality Guidelines.

The consultation can be found here.

(Picture – City of York Council)

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