A war on drivers

A war on drivers

A war on drivers

First published in Letters by

LABOUR’S relentless war with the motorist started in May 2011 and continues to this day.

Not in their election manifesto, the cycling Cabinet sneakily tried to sell the Union Terrace coach and car park to St. John’s College. People power won the day.

In a fit of pique, the council retaliated by increasing car park charges citywide.

Labour then concentrated its fire on Lendal Bridge. The six-month trial closure, extended to nine in reality, raised £1.3 million illegally.

Personally signed letters of apology from him (James Alexander), with refund cheque attached, should be sent to every fined driver. No, say his scrutiny committee, but what does his unelected Fairness Commission advise?

New targets are speeding cars in residential areas. 20’s Plenty national campaign manager Councillor Anna Semlyen persuaded her pedalling pals to adopt her costly crusade. Police have neither cautioned nor convicted a single motorist in two years – £600,000 well spent then.

The council then turned its guns on wayward mums who inadvertently park unlawfully, albeit briefly, outside school. Enter the ‘Spy Van’, which has also been cunningly re-deployed down-town to raise further revenue.

Now this combat-stressed council picks another fight with Yorkies by replacing the free parking discount badge with a £20 Minster Badge – that’s just to qualify for existing meagre parking discounts. Such cheek!

Geoffrey Widdows, East Mount Road, York.

Comments (11)

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1:20pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Buzzz Light-year says...

The "war on the motorist" is a tired and baseless cliche.
It undermines the general points here.
The "war on the motorist" is a tired and baseless cliche. It undermines the general points here. Buzzz Light-year
  • Score: -2

1:39pm Fri 5 Sep 14

mjgyork says...

This letter is clearly another part of a pre-election Tory-voter campaign. I had to drive into the city in a morning last week because I had no choice. It served to remind me why I avoid doing it. Something needs to be done regarding traffic management in York, both in the short and long term. YCC various attempts should be applauded. People do not park "inadvertently", but because they do not care about any of the inconveniences and dangers they cause. And to claim it is some form of "WAR" does a great disservice to those suffering from real wars in Syria, Israel, Ukraine etc. etc. etc. At least be honest and declare your allegiance.
This letter is clearly another part of a pre-election Tory-voter campaign. I had to drive into the city in a morning last week because I had no choice. It served to remind me why I avoid doing it. Something needs to be done regarding traffic management in York, both in the short and long term. YCC various attempts should be applauded. People do not park "inadvertently", but because they do not care about any of the inconveniences and dangers they cause. And to claim it is some form of "WAR" does a great disservice to those suffering from real wars in Syria, Israel, Ukraine etc. etc. etc. At least be honest and declare your allegiance. mjgyork
  • Score: 35

2:47pm Fri 5 Sep 14

gwen4me says...

I love this bit. "The council then turned its guns on wayward mums who inadvertently park unlawfully, albeit briefly, outside school. Enter the ‘Spy Van’, which has also been cunningly re-deployed down-town to raise further revenue."

"Oops I seem to have accidentally parked outside school and saved myself a 5 minute walk. Oh no little Jeremy nearly got run over, stupid careless motorists!"
I love this bit. "The council then turned its guns on wayward mums who inadvertently park unlawfully, albeit briefly, outside school. Enter the ‘Spy Van’, which has also been cunningly re-deployed down-town to raise further revenue." "Oops I seem to have accidentally parked outside school and saved myself a 5 minute walk. Oh no little Jeremy nearly got run over, stupid careless motorists!" gwen4me
  • Score: 43

5:10pm Fri 5 Sep 14

notpedallingpaul says...

Buzzz Light-year wrote:
The "war on the motorist" is a tired and baseless cliche.
It undermines the general points here.
No it doesn't!, it's quite true, it's well known how buddy buddy Hepworth is with Merrett, the cycling lobby virtually own the so called council.
Then you get PC mjgyork trying to link his comment with the wars in Syria, Israel, Ukraine, followed by gwen with a poisoned sarcastic comment about mums parking outside schools, you sad bleeding lot.
[quote][p][bold]Buzzz Light-year[/bold] wrote: The "war on the motorist" is a tired and baseless cliche. It undermines the general points here.[/p][/quote]No it doesn't!, it's quite true, it's well known how buddy buddy Hepworth is with Merrett, the cycling lobby virtually own the so called council. Then you get PC mjgyork trying to link his comment with the wars in Syria, Israel, Ukraine, followed by gwen with a poisoned sarcastic comment about mums parking outside schools, you sad bleeding lot. notpedallingpaul
  • Score: -30

5:46pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Buzzz Light-year says...

notpedallingpaul wrote:
Buzzz Light-year wrote:
The "war on the motorist" is a tired and baseless cliche.
It undermines the general points here.
No it doesn't!, it's quite true, it's well known how buddy buddy Hepworth is with Merrett, the cycling lobby virtually own the so called council.
Then you get PC mjgyork trying to link his comment with the wars in Syria, Israel, Ukraine, followed by gwen with a poisoned sarcastic comment about mums parking outside schools, you sad bleeding lot.
Keep your hair on!
'Fraid you're wrong as it happens.
Tired and baseless cliché undermines general point. There is no "relentless war on the motorist"
[quote][p][bold]notpedallingpaul[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Buzzz Light-year[/bold] wrote: The "war on the motorist" is a tired and baseless cliche. It undermines the general points here.[/p][/quote]No it doesn't!, it's quite true, it's well known how buddy buddy Hepworth is with Merrett, the cycling lobby virtually own the so called council. Then you get PC mjgyork trying to link his comment with the wars in Syria, Israel, Ukraine, followed by gwen with a poisoned sarcastic comment about mums parking outside schools, you sad bleeding lot.[/p][/quote]Keep your hair on! 'Fraid you're wrong as it happens. Tired and baseless cliché undermines general point. There is no "relentless war on the motorist" Buzzz Light-year
  • Score: -2

7:29pm Fri 5 Sep 14

strangebuttrue? says...

Ok let's not call it a war it maybe just feels like one because what it is is long term consistent bullying and harassment of York residents who choose to drive cars in search modal change to bring about Mr Merrett's dream of a car free city.

Mr Merrett's good friend PP makes this point clear in a letter today where he advocates artificial priority for trams. Now add this to the artificial priority for busses, bikes and taxis and you see the pressure is building on those York residents who legally choose to travel by car. What it is doing is artificially slowing car journeys and wasting their lives in the hope they will become so frustrated and exasperated with it all that they give in. Now is that not how bullies try to make people feel and what they try to make them do?

One mistake made by the letter writer is that it started in 2011. It actually started long before this with the removal of a lane from Boroughbridge Road between Carr Lane and Poppleton Road. But this really started to get serious in 2006 when Mr Merrett was handed the chair on committees deciding all things traffic in York by the Liberals.
Ok let's not call it a war it maybe just feels like one because what it is is long term consistent bullying and harassment of York residents who choose to drive cars in search modal change to bring about Mr Merrett's dream of a car free city. Mr Merrett's good friend PP makes this point clear in a letter today where he advocates artificial priority for trams. Now add this to the artificial priority for busses, bikes and taxis and you see the pressure is building on those York residents who legally choose to travel by car. What it is doing is artificially slowing car journeys and wasting their lives in the hope they will become so frustrated and exasperated with it all that they give in. Now is that not how bullies try to make people feel and what they try to make them do? One mistake made by the letter writer is that it started in 2011. It actually started long before this with the removal of a lane from Boroughbridge Road between Carr Lane and Poppleton Road. But this really started to get serious in 2006 when Mr Merrett was handed the chair on committees deciding all things traffic in York by the Liberals. strangebuttrue?
  • Score: -25

12:25am Sat 6 Sep 14

strangebuttrue? says...

It would seem the score adjusting thing lurks around the pubs on Friday nights, always late. Make sure your drinks are not watered down! Let's have a look at it's work on other comments.
It would seem the score adjusting thing lurks around the pubs on Friday nights, always late. Make sure your drinks are not watered down! Let's have a look at it's work on other comments. strangebuttrue?
  • Score: -37

4:23am Sat 6 Sep 14

Magicman! says...

Somebody just had to give me the heimlich manouver after I read this letter, as I nearly choked on my food.

What on earth has this letter writer been smoking? There is no war on the motorist, there is no cycling agenda.

What we have is an utterly incompetant council who quite simply HAVE NOT GOT A SINGLE CLUE what they want to do..... They got into power, and despite being advised not to do so by a public consultation and recommendatations against changing it by every professional roads-related body including the police, removed the cycle lane on Water End to shoehorn in a left-turn lane, a lane that only gets 3 cars in it because the bulk of traffic sits in the other lane and cuts off access to the left lane (an issue which occured before the cycle lane was ever put there in the first place); meanwhile, knowing this left lane would not be the 'silver bullet' to get rid of traffic congestion there, they added on about 20 seconds more time on green for Water End, being too thick to realise this would mean Shipton Road traffic would be waiting on red for 20 seconds longer and so more traffic would join the queue and therefore the congestion would simply shift around the junction by 90 degrees and clog up Shipton Road instead.... they had a cycle lane on Station Road / Queen Street bridge on the outbound side of the road, got rid of it and put it on the inbound side, then got rid of it and put it back on the outbound side... they have a cycle lane going under Micklegate Bar but no way of preventing vehicle occupying that lane and blocking it whilst waiting for a green light, so cyclists still have to go on the pavement there... they ripped up the road outside the Minster for several months, and when they were done revealled a non-compliant mass of light coloured stone with no tactile surface so that partially sighted people cannot tell it has an active road going through the middle of it, and neither can able-bodied pedestrians either (and the council did the same thing with Kings Square and are about to repeat for Exhibition Square and St Lenoards Place)... they took the roads around the back of Clifton Moor shopping park and made them more narrow by increasing the width of underused pavements and then shoehorned in cycle lanes that are too narrow and so are non-compliant whilst at the same time as making one cycle lane so that where it ends bicycles have to move to the right at the exact same point where a traffic island comes along and reduces road width.... they put in cycle racks in Goodramgate, removed them 2 weeks later for road resurfacing, put them back 3 weeks after that, took them out for the Tour de France, and haven't yet put them back some 2 months later... they have removed cycle parking provision in the heart of the city centre because they have this strange idea that people who work in the city centre have no need to park their bikes near where they work... they have built a cycle lane beside the A1237, but did it the wrong way round so that major piece of infastructure needed for the route is missing and not likely to go in until nearly a year after the rest of the route was built, by which time the existing cracks already opening up in the substandard poorly-built cycle lane will then be at a potentially dangerous level... they have removed cycle priority at side road turnings off from Malton Road....
... need I go on?

This council have done NOTHING to make it better for cycling, whilst at the same time increasing congestion thus making car and bus journeys slower and more annoying. They just blunder from one insane idea to another insane idea without any thought of how it will cockup the traffic flow.
Somebody just had to give me the heimlich manouver after I read this letter, as I nearly choked on my food. What on earth has this letter writer been smoking? There is no war on the motorist, there is no cycling agenda. What we have is an utterly incompetant council who quite simply HAVE NOT GOT A SINGLE CLUE what they want to do..... They got into power, and despite being advised not to do so by a public consultation and recommendatations against changing it by every professional roads-related body including the police, removed the cycle lane on Water End to shoehorn in a left-turn lane, a lane that only gets 3 cars in it because the bulk of traffic sits in the other lane and cuts off access to the left lane (an issue which occured before the cycle lane was ever put there in the first place); meanwhile, knowing this left lane would not be the 'silver bullet' to get rid of traffic congestion there, they added on about 20 seconds more time on green for Water End, being too thick to realise this would mean Shipton Road traffic would be waiting on red for 20 seconds longer and so more traffic would join the queue and therefore the congestion would simply shift around the junction by 90 degrees and clog up Shipton Road instead.... they had a cycle lane on Station Road / Queen Street bridge on the outbound side of the road, got rid of it and put it on the inbound side, then got rid of it and put it back on the outbound side... they have a cycle lane going under Micklegate Bar but no way of preventing vehicle occupying that lane and blocking it whilst waiting for a green light, so cyclists still have to go on the pavement there... they ripped up the road outside the Minster for several months, and when they were done revealled a non-compliant mass of light coloured stone with no tactile surface so that partially sighted people cannot tell it has an active road going through the middle of it, and neither can able-bodied pedestrians either (and the council did the same thing with Kings Square and are about to repeat for Exhibition Square and St Lenoards Place)... they took the roads around the back of Clifton Moor shopping park and made them more narrow by increasing the width of underused pavements and then shoehorned in cycle lanes that are too narrow and so are non-compliant whilst at the same time as making one cycle lane so that where it ends bicycles have to move to the right at the exact same point where a traffic island comes along and reduces road width.... they put in cycle racks in Goodramgate, removed them 2 weeks later for road resurfacing, put them back 3 weeks after that, took them out for the Tour de France, and haven't yet put them back some 2 months later... they have removed cycle parking provision in the heart of the city centre because they have this strange idea that people who work in the city centre have no need to park their bikes near where they work... they have built a cycle lane beside the A1237, but did it the wrong way round so that major piece of infastructure needed for the route is missing and not likely to go in until nearly a year after the rest of the route was built, by which time the existing cracks already opening up in the substandard poorly-built cycle lane will then be at a potentially dangerous level... they have removed cycle priority at side road turnings off from Malton Road.... ... need I go on? This council have done NOTHING to make it better for cycling, whilst at the same time increasing congestion thus making car and bus journeys slower and more annoying. They just blunder from one insane idea to another insane idea without any thought of how it will cockup the traffic flow. Magicman!
  • Score: -24

7:18pm Sat 6 Sep 14

Dr Robert says...

The Labour lunes have been at it again with the thumbs down.
The Labour lunes have been at it again with the thumbs down. Dr Robert
  • Score: -23

1:20am Mon 8 Sep 14

Magicman! says...

Dr Robert wrote:
The Labour lunes have been at it again with the thumbs down.
Yep, and the funny thing is that my post will have really confuddled their little brain, because as a cyclist they supposedly are doing things to make it easier for people like me to get around - and so when I make good comments from a cycling point of view I get the thumbs up; but show them up to be a bunch of dimwitted baboons who make decisions either by playing a revised version of 'spin the bottle', use a weija board, or have an adapted one-arm-bandit machine in the corner of the office, and it's thumbs down all the way!

I thyink next time before I make a comment criticising the council, I will start it off with the phrase "as a cyclist", to really give them a conflict of interest!
"they're talking smack about my beloved council - must vote down... but are also cyclist - must vote up... CANNOT COMPUTE!! ERROR ERROR ERROR!" and then their head explodes!
[quote][p][bold]Dr Robert[/bold] wrote: The Labour lunes have been at it again with the thumbs down.[/p][/quote]Yep, and the funny thing is that my post will have really confuddled their little brain, because as a cyclist they supposedly are doing things to make it easier for people like me to get around - and so when I make good comments from a cycling point of view I get the thumbs up; but show them up to be a bunch of dimwitted baboons who make decisions either by playing a revised version of 'spin the bottle', use a weija board, or have an adapted one-arm-bandit machine in the corner of the office, and it's thumbs down all the way! I thyink next time before I make a comment criticising the council, I will start it off with the phrase "as a cyclist", to really give them a conflict of interest! "they're talking smack about my beloved council - must vote down... but are also cyclist - must vote up... CANNOT COMPUTE!! ERROR ERROR ERROR!" and then their head explodes! Magicman!
  • Score: -2

3:54am Fri 12 Sep 14

Magicman! says...

Labour's loon is still going strong, showing they really don't have anything better to do with their time, seeing as the comments above my previous one are now on -23 and -24. Given they did have +10 previously, we can assume that the Labour Loon has given a -30 mark to anybody remotely critiscising the council.

SO... if your comment has a negative mark, simply put on +30 to get your true score.
Labour's loon is still going strong, showing they really don't have anything better to do with their time, seeing as the comments above my previous one are now on -23 and -24. Given they did have +10 previously, we can assume that the Labour Loon has given a -30 mark to anybody remotely critiscising the council. SO... if your comment has a negative mark, simply put on +30 to get your true score. Magicman!
  • Score: 0
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