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Photo number:
Photo #187856

[Image taken 22.11.22] Crichton Avenue/Wigginton Road, York. This is the size and weight of vehicle that will turn into and out of Denning's Yard access if planning is granted for any development (see: #187304 and links). CYC must develop a whole area plan. This is needed so people who don't currently use it, perhaps because it is steep, congested, narrow, cambered, etc can and do. So people who want to walk, cycle, scoot, wheelchair but daren't, do. So there is space now and in the future for all active travel users.
I had a meeting at Denning's Yard access this morning. If there had been a camera team in attendance it would have looked set up. People who passed between Crichton Avenue and Foss Islands Path, in this order...
A older man who cycles with a trailer - a set-up he does all his shopping with. (I see him quite regularly.)
A young man pushing two children in a buggy.
A woman in a wheelchair.
A man with a white stick who, when I explained why I was there said: "They [motor vehicles moving in and out of the site] are not important. People are important [ie the people moving between Foss Islands Path/Wigginton Road pavement and Crichton Avenue."
A crocodile of children from a local primary school.
Even as we were seeing the most appalling driver behaviour I have ever seen in 40 years of watching traffic playing out behind us on Crichton Ave/Wigginton Road (perhaps as a result of this crash, my interlocutor - representing a local school - was trotting out:
- cyclists jump red lights
- you'll never get people out of cars;
- the problem is there's not enough space;
- you need to do one bit at a time;
- you can't do a big shop on a cycle.
My belief is there is systemic failure at CYC to be able to change from a 'cars first' ideology to a 'people are more important' ethos. There is no infra in the city that shows people who have busy lives, who are not aware of 'active travel' as a thing let alone the principles, who haven't been to any of our European neighbours or Portland, Oregon, for example, and therefore do not know that good design transforms lives, what is possible and how this positively changes lives - for all ages.
Even if you describe what could be possible the reply is: It can't be done here. (For the 'reasons' the person I met this morning gave.)
How can a city change for the better if it does not provide exemplar schemes to enable residents to experience and understand and want infra that supports people not their motor vehicles?
How can a city change if it does not engage:
[LTN 1/20
"3.3.6 [Scheme promoters should] actively seek out groups that may not be aware of the planned scheme and ensure they have the opportunity to comment. This may require a separate process, for example arranging meetings with local disability groups.
Such groups must be local primaries who:
- use the route for getting its pupils to and from places during the school day; and
- whose pupils, use it on their own or accompanied by family members to get to/from school and events there;
- visitors to the schools.
Denning's Yard access needs a whole-area vision.
York residents deserve a people first approach that makes their lives safer and easier to live, traffic-free, even if they never hear or see the phrase 'active travel'.
A final point:
I regularly ask, when responding to consultations, 'In future consultations. please ask people to look ahead 10, 20, 40 years to when they are vulnerable, can't or shouldn't drive, and need pavements and dropped kerbs, and take that into consideration when responding, not simply to reply based on how things are for them now.'
Looking at the consultations coming out of London over the past year or so I am struck by the inclusion - in the first paragraph - what percentage of people in Camden, Lambeth, Southwark, etc,... do not have access to a car.
The percentage in York is also significant. Including it makes people less ashamed of not having a car - the usual sentiment I pick up when asking people I talk to. I believe it also empowers people who do not have access to a car. And no less importantly, it raises awareness among residents:
- not everyone in York has access to a car so infra must include that 25 per cent, and
- life without a car is definitely possible. Which means, yes, you can do a family shop on a cycle: spend:#179013, #186763.
Other images here today: #187857, #187858. Other images today: #187859, #187860, 187861.

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