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York Council Accused Of Not Listening - After A19 Upgrade Turned Down

Minster FM News Generic

8:50am 12th June 2013

York Council's being accused of not listening to people in Fulford after a bid to upgrade the A19 was turned down.

A bid to get the government to pay four-point-seven million pounds was rejected last week.

Opposition Lib Dems say it's because local people were ignored but the city council say the improvements are essential and will still happen.

Cllr Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Fulford who met with local residents last week to discuss the issue, commented:

“Residents in the Selby Road and Naburn Lane area of Fulford were not consulted on the contents of the application and Fulford Parish Council was not asked for any input. The community feels completely left out of the process, despite the impact these changes could have.

“Local people have a number of concerns about existing traffic issues in this area and concerns over some of the proposals put forward in this bid, including the narrowing and removal of some pavements and vegetation. Residents are worried about how they would access their homes and the impact the changes could have on the character of Selby Road.

“In recent months community groups have worked hard in Selby Road planting new bulbs on the grass verges and previously putting-up a new village sign. But it seems that while the community is striving to maintain the identity of Fulford as an historic village with Selby Road as an entrance to it, the Council have been ignoring local people and the character of the local area.

“I am calling on the Council to work with residents to ensure that any future bids or proposed transport changes actually reflect the needs and wishes of the local community.”

Local resident Graham Cheyne, who lives on Selby Road, said:

“Yet again York Council has been refused government money, maybe they should listen to residents and implement what residents want which certainly was not the case with this application. The character of the approach roads into the City is slowly being eroded against the wishes of the voters. People come to York because it is very different from their urbanised cities, but not for long, while this Council rips-up well kept grass verges and replaces them with bus lanes and traffic lights, and in doing so engineers high levels of pollution and congestion into residential areas that at present don't exist.”

Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability at City of York Council, said: “Whilst we are disappointed by this decision, the A19 flood resilience element of the proposal will still be provided by the Germany Beck development and the Bus Priority scheme is also being included in the proposed West Yorkshire Transport Plus Fund York Package, so they will still happen albeit not as quickly. The A19 is a key arterial route into the city centre and it’s crucial that it is flood proofed and the public transport access improved so we are able to support development and the city's potential growth.”

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