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Ambitious future awaits as City of York Council unveils route map to a healthier, more sustainable and better connected city

City of York Council

At a meeting next week (18 July) Executive Members will be asked to agree to a new, far reaching Local Transport Strategy which will shape the city’s travel networks until 2040.

York’s Local Transport Strategy will prioritise people and set out the future for transport for the whole council area, including the city centre, suburbs, business, retail parks and villages.

The strategy has been formed following one of York’s most significant public consultations since 2010 and represents a step change in how York will approach the way in which residents, businesses, tourists and commuters move around and experience our city.

In the consultation, people from across York’s city centre, suburbs and villages gave their views on ten policy areas and the results clearly show that the current transport network is restricting what residents and businesses can achieve. One of the most significant results of the consultation was an increase in concerns of the social impacts of poor transport, including feeling isolated and not being able to access jobs, education or healthcare.

Councillor Kate Ravilious, Executive Member for Transport said, “This shows how important this work is. People lie at the heart of this transport strategy. By freeing up the roads for those who need to use them we can bring greatly improved access to mobility for everyone and transform the feel of our city with greener, healthier and more people-focused public spaces. The benefits are huge and include longer healthier lives, greater resilience to climate change, stronger communities and improved well-being, and a thriving economy.”

In addition to existing concerns, York’s population is expected to grow by an extra 30,000 residents by 2040.  This growth comes at a time of opportunity, with the newly established York and North Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority able to unlock over £100m of new funding for transport in York. 

Executive will also be invited to instruct officers to progress development of a Movement & Place Plan which will, working together with residents, visitors, community organisations and businesses, allow the city to rethink how public spaces we have available to us could enhance the feel of the city and better connect all our residents to the things that are important to them. It will bring greater freedom of movement, whether people have access to a car or not, making York a more liveable city.

Councillor Claire Douglas, Leader of City of York Council said: “Our Council Plan, ‘One City for All’ set out our ambition to deliver sustainable, accessible transport for all.

“We are getting on with facing this challenge head on, working with partners and listening to residents.

“We have seen and heard the impact traffic congestion in York is having on people’s lives and it is clear that things need to change. This Local Transport Strategy is the start of this work, setting out our ambitions for a healthier, more sustainable and better connected city and now we intend to get on and deliver for residents, commuters and visitors.

Councillor Kate Ravilious, Executive Member for Transport added, “It’s clear that York’s residents are tired of sitting in traffic jams. By listening to the city about what matters to everyone, we have been able to create a transport strategy for York that will deliver affordable, accessible and healthy transport options no matter where people live, study or work.

“As a city, we also need to address our impact on the environment. Our climate targets are ambitious but attainable; we need to increase the number of people travelling by bus and train by 50% and double the number of trips taken on foot or by cycle.  Our target is that by 2030, 20% of the trips which are currently travelled by car or van will instead be taken by bus, walking and cycling – that’s just one journey in five we are asking people to change, and our strategy will help facilitate that change. 

“This will be an exciting and transformational journey. It won’t happen overnight and we’ll be working with and listening to residents, businesses and visitors to ensure any changes have the desired impact”.

Carolyn Frank, Development Manager at the Federation of Small Businesses North Yorkshire, said, “At FSB we welcome the publication of the strategy and the huge amount of consultation that has gone on to get to this point.  Any bold change will not be a best fit for everyone, but it feels like this is a co-designed step forward. Lots can change over a ten year period so the strategy will need to be flexible and adapt to a rapidly changing City but York is getting future ready and we hope to see businesses getting involved and engaged with the Council, Combined Authority and may other partners, to continue to shape this exciting journey”.

The new Local Transport Strategy – the first to have been produced for York since 2011 – will be supported by a number of implementation plans, further details of which will be announced in autumn 2024, including;

  • Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP)
  • Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP)
  • Transport Supplementary Planning Document to the Local Plan and Highway Design Guide

Every five years City of York Council will publish an Implementation Plan which sets out its priorities for transport – in particularly which transport initiatives and schemes it will seek to deliver over the next five years.   

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