A riverside route in York is set to be transformed thanks to a £500,000 investment.
The foot and cycle path which runs between Jubilee Terrace and Scarborough Bridge will be made wider and safer after City of York Council agreed to spend up to £500K on improvement works.
Ward councillors Kallum Taylor, Rachel Melly, and David Heaton have been lobbying for the investment for some time.
They say the impact of the York Central development – particularly the closure of Leeman Road – accelerates the need for the route to be upgraded.
Residents’ concerns about the path include
- poor accessibility – including barriers which exclude some people, and a narrow path shared between cyclists and pedestrians
- poor lighting, which means people can be reluctant to use it in the dark
- lack of surveillance leading to safety concerns – ‘especially with incidents taking place along it recently’.
There is also a need to make the route flood proof – the lowest points are cut off due to flooding on average ten times per year.
The funding decision comes after land-ownership issues were resolved last year, when the council secured ownership around a third of the land from the Helmsley Group. This means that the council now has control of all of the land along the route.
The Labour ward councillors are mindful that the Railway Museum’s controversial plans to close Leeman Road will naturally increase residents’ reliance on the path and cycleway.
Cllr Kallum Taylor said: “We really welcome this investment because while addressing the flaws of this vital route for thousands of people is long overdue anyway, if the railway museum’s selfish and uncompromising plans to close Leeman Road go through as planned, then even more people will be dependent on it.”
The council estimates that the works will cost between £500K and £1m and it is anticipated that further funding will be sought from Section 106 contributions gained from the York Central Development, as well as the city’s next Local Transport Plan.