Cycling campaigners staged a ‘go slow’ protest in York city centre tonight (Wednesday) to urge the council to upgrade cycle lanes.
About 70 cyclists took part in the protest, which set off from Clifton Green at 5.30pm.
The ride was organised by York Cycle Campaign. Kate Ravilious, from the group, said they are asking City of York Council to move ahead with plans to create a segregated cycle lane in Bootham and Shipton Road.
Campaigners also want council officers to get recent training in active travel.
“A cycle lane in Bootham and Shipton Road would make a huge difference,” Kate said. “We know there are often long traffic jams in Bootham. We have Bootham School, St Peter’s School, people coming from the Park&Ride – there are a lot of people who could use this.”
Government gave the council £850,000 for active travel schemes including proposals to make cycling safer. Kate said only a few schemes have been put in place so far and it would be”unforgivable” if the council had to send the money back to government because it was not spent.
Transform the city
Andy Shrimpton from Cycle Heaven said better cycling infrastructure “would transform the city”.
He said: “It would be a better place to live.
“York used to lead the way. We were ahead of the game but the momentum was lost.”
“We have to do this for our children and our grandchildren to have a better quality of life.”
Baz Buchanan, a cycle courier and member of the IWGB couriers’ union, said cycling in York has never felt so dangerous.
He said he believes the safety of some people’s driving has worsened during lockdown as they have not been using their cars as much and are starting to drive again.
“The union supports the aims of York Cycle Campaign. As a courier I ride 300 or 400 miles a week and I see the dangers on a day to day basis. The roads are not conducive to families, children and people who are new to cycling or feel nervous.”
“We are pretty shocked that the council has been awarded this money and has not spent it.”
Robyn Jankel from the campaign said: “We don’t take this lightly, we know we are causing disruption and we don’t take that lightly.
“But we really hope the council will take notice. All we are asking for is to be kept safe and for the money that the government has given the council to be spent.”