Decision Session – Executive Member for              3 November 2020



Report of the Corporate Director of Economy and Place



Scarborough Bridge to Bootham Park Cycle & Pedestrian Route Improvements



1.        This report outlines a series of proposals to improve and promote a pedestrian and cycle route between York Station and Bootham Park / York Hospital.  This scheme will complement and enhance the approaches to the recently completed and award winning1 Scarborough Bridge upgrade from the city centre with the following improvements proposed:

A.       Junction of Bootham / St. Mary’s / The Drive – proposed signalisation of this junction to provide a controlled exit and safer crossing of the A19 Bootham.

B.       Ramp from Marygate Lane to St. Mary’s / St. Mary’s Lane – proposed new ramp over the existing steps, utilising St. Mary’s as a quiet cycle/pedestrian and accessible route.

C.       Railway Walk – proposed relining of Marygate car park to enable a widening of the existing shared-use path which borders the car park and the railway embankment.

2.         Following public consultation undertaken recently, approval is now sought from the Executive Member for Transport to proceed with the final detailed design and proceed to the construction stage of these projects.




3.        The Executive Member is asked to:

i)          Consider the results of public consultation on these proposals;

ii)      Approve the proposed schemes as outlined and progress to detailed design;


iii)    Approve the construction of the proposed schemes as outlined, if no significant changes are needed as a result of the detailed design.


Reason: The recommended schemes will enhance and promote a cycle/pedestrian and accessible route from York Station to Bootham Park and York Hospital, whilst complementing the recent upgrade of Scarborough Bridge and it’s approaches from the city centre.  The improvements to this route will improve access and options for active travel users – cyclists and pedestrians, as well as those with mobility issues.



4.        The £4.4 million Scarborough Bridge upgrade was completed in August 2019 and has transformed sustainable access between York Station and York Central development site, and sites across the river Ouse such as the city centre and York Hospital.  The scheme delivered a new wider shared-use foot and cycle bridge incorporating ramped access and which replaced the former substandard narrow footbridge which could only previously be accessed by steep narrow stairs from the flood-prone riverside.  This successful project has received a number of accolades throughout 2020 to date1.

5.        An opportunity arose through the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) - which aims to drive up productivity through improved public and sustainable transport connections between urban centres and suburbs - and is part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy and the National Productivity Investment Fund.  The council worked with West Yorkshire Combined Authority to submit a Tranche 1 bid based on making improvements to the approaches to Scarborough Bridge and were successfully awarded an allocation of £280,000, match funded by £20,000 from the council’s own Capital Programme.

6.        Included within this allocation is funding to improve the existing floodgate adjacent to Scarborough Bridge at Earlsborough Terrace.  Agreement has now been made with the Environment Agency for them to design out the existing threshold here so that the step is completely removed at the transition between the ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ side of the floodgate, making this approach to the bridge more cycle and disabled friendly.

7.        A significant majority of users of Scarborough Bridge have their origin or destination from the north, i.e. towards the Bootham direction – 71% of cyclists (and 57% of pedestrians).  This equates to approximately 500 cyclists per day.  This illustrates that there is a significant demand for improvements to the route which connects Scarborough Bridge to the Bootham area (and beyond to York Hospital). 

8.        An existing route (Sustrans NCN 658) exists which utilises Railway Walk (the path adjacent to Marygate car park), passing underneath the railway using a subway, then uses Bootham Terrace to reach the A19 Bootham.  However this does divert away from the accepted desire line and some users may not feel comfortable using the underpass, especially at night. 

9.        The proposed new route which we are wishing to improve and promote as the preferred route is more direct and utilises a quieter street, St. Mary’s, which also intersects with the A19 precisely opposite the existing cycle route through Bootham Park which we aim to connect to.  There would be scope to reroute the signed NCN route this way following completion of the scheme.


A. Signalisation of Bootham / St. Mary’s / The Drive

10.    The existing pedestrian crossing at Bootham (close to the junction with St. Mary’s) is of the pelican varient and has been in place for numerous years, in need of renewal.  Its position is such that it is off the desire line for cyclists and pedestrians who use the route from Bootham Park towards York Station.  Currently the junction does not provide ease of crossing for cyclists.


11.    A crossing upgrade was considered in 2009/10 and an outline design to provide a parallel crossing was agreed in principle by the then Cabinet Member.  However, the detailed design was not completed at the time and the scheme was not implemented due to the predicted costs exceeding the budget available, as well as concerns that few cyclists would make use of the dedicated facility.


12.    Recent discussions with the developers of Bootham Park Hospital have made it clear that the cycle and pedestrian route along The Drive will remain, be enhanced, and would likely become increasingly well-used once the redevelopment of this site has taken place.  No vehicular access to the site is proposed through the Grade II listed gates from/onto Bootham.  The proposal is for these gates to be fixed open to allow cyclists to use this larger access (currently cyclists are required to share the smaller side gate with pedestrians), with a bollard to prevent any vehicles from entering.  The stone setts to the front of the gates would be retained.


Options considered – Option 1, signalisation of the junction

13.    Proposal to introduce traffic signals at this currently uncontrolled junction to provide a controlled and safer crossing of, and exit onto, the A19 for cyclists [Annex A(1)].  This will also provide residents/visitors of St. Mary’s with a vehicular controlled exit onto Bootham (where it can at times be difficult due to inbound queues).


14.    The proposals put out for public consultation indicated that three on-street residents-only car parking spaces on St. Mary’s would need to be removed closest to the junction due to the requirement for the proposed stop-line to be set back into the junction to allow for vehicles to wait at the signals and allow any large vehicles (i.e. refuse vehicles) turning into the street to make the manoeuvre without them coming into conflict.


15.    The existing nearby pedestrian (pelican) crossing on Bootham is almost life-expired so is in need of renewal.  With this option to signalise the nearby junction of St. Mary’s, it seems prudent to renew this crossing as a puffin, move it slightly closer to the junction, and bring it into the same control as the new signals, to retain as much capacity on Bootham as possible.


16.    It is proposed that all signals equipment by The Drive would be forward of the Grade II listed gates, within the public highway.  With no vehicular access here, low-level cycle-only signals would be appropriate and it is likely that detection of cyclists here would be by above ground camera technology, as thermal imaging has been used successfully at other sites.


Options considered – Option 2, toucan crossing

17.    This option comprises replacing the life-expired pelican crossing with a shared-use pedestrian and cyclist toucan crossing.  This would not require the removal of any car parking spaces as the interface with St. Mary’s would remain unchanged.


18.    This option would require the removal of a large mature tree (which has a Tree Preservation Order associated) on the south-west corner of the Bootham/St Mary’s junction and potentially significant utilities diversions.



Analysis & recommendation

19.    Option 2 requires cyclists to divert from their desire line and in doing so perform four ninety degree turns in a short distance and share sections of footway with pedestrians.  It is considered that this facility is unlikely to attract widespread use by cyclists.  The loss of a mature tree is also undesirable in this location.


20.    Installing signals at the junction (Option 1) would encourage cyclists to use this direct route as there would no longer be a need to detour off their desire line to use the existing pedestrian crossing facility, whilst attempting to share footway safely with pedestrians.  This would increase the attractiveness of the route and would make crossing the road here safer, particularly for younger and less confident cyclists.


21.    Initial pre-consultation with Ward Members and Cycling Groups indicated that Option 1 (signalisation) would be their favoured option.


22.    The Traffic Signals team were asked to investigate signalling options here.  Their analysis indicated that the clear disadvantage of Option 1 being the loss of a small number of residents’ parking on St. Mary’s.  St. Mary’s is a fairly narrow two-way street with residents’ parking on one side for the majority of its length which is well used.  There is no nearby road space available to compensate any loss of residents’ parking.


23.    Option 1 was further reviewed to cater for use of the Bootham Park access (The Drive) by some vehicles.  The report advised that a high demand of calls from pedestrians along Bootham would disrupt the main road traffic, albeit there is already a pedestrian crossing in this location.  Although there are several statutory undertakers with plant in the immediate area of the Bootham/St. Mary’s junction, it is possible that their services may not require alteration if this option is progressed.  That is, the necessary additional signalling equipment could probably be accommodated without impacting on services.


24.    A safety review has been carried out on both options and it was found that both options provide suitable ways of controlling the junction but offer differing levels of safety for different road user groups.  Option 1 provides more control and a direct route but creates some conflict between cyclists and motor vehicles.  The alternative Option 2 creates more conflict between pedestrians and cyclists and takes cyclists off the desire line to safely cross Bootham. 


25.    NOTE:  Following consultation the proposed layout in Option 1 has been revisited and it is now felt that the position of the St. Mary’s stop-line and space for queuing vehicles could be adjusted, with the loss of only two parking spaces (instead of three) and inclusion of a part-width cycle Advanced Stop Line to get cyclists ahead of any waiting vehicles and reduce the likelihood of left turning vehicles coming into conflict with cyclists [Annex A(2)].  Furthermore, three previously unused Guest House parking spaces on St. Mary’s have very recently been converted to general use in August 2020.  As such Option 1 actually represents a net gain of one parking space for general use by residents compared with the pre-August situation.


26.    Option 1 is the Officer’s recommended option (revised to include the cycle Advanced Stop Line and the loss of two parking spaces on St. Mary’s).


Cost estimate- £165,000

27.    Until detailed design has been carried out, the estimated cost for the recommended option is just an estimate at this stage (i.e. statutory undertaker diversion costs are unknown at this time).  This figure includes an estimate of what the stats might cost.


Safety Assessment

28.    See paragraph 24 above.  A stage 2 Road Safety Audit will be undertaken during detailed design of the chosen option prior to construction.


B. Ramp from Marygate Lane to St. Mary’s

29.    St. Mary’s, being a lightly trafficked quiet street and located exactly opposite The Drive, would be the most direct route for cyclists, pedestrians and those with mobility issues.  However currently at the bottom of St. Mary’s, where it meets Marygate Lane, there is a significant level difference between the carriageways of the two streets, separated by a retaining wall, with two separate flights of steps connecting these two streets (with existing wheeling ramp on the longer flight).


Options considered – Option 1, Shorter ramp in south-east corner

30.    This option proposes the construction of a shared-use (low gradient) ramp over the existing shorter flight of stairs (south-east corner) from St. Mary’s to Marygate Lane to enable cyclists, pedestrians and those with mobility issues to use St. Mary’s as their preferred quiet route [Annex B].  This ramp would turn a corner where it meets Marygate Lane and descend towards Railway Walk / the subway to Bootham Terrace.  Additionally we would undertake some localised resurfacing of the carriageway to improve users’ experience.  The longer flilght of stairs (north-west corner) would remain for able-bodied pedestrians to access St. Mary’s more directly and circumvent the new ramp if they choose to do so.


Options considered – Option 2, Longer ramp in north-west corner

31.    This option involves ramping over the existing longer flight of stairs (north-west corner) and descending the ramp away from Railway Terrace and the subway to Bootham Terrace.  The shorter flilght of stairs (south-east corner) would remain for able-bodied pedestrians.


Options considered – Option 3, Alternative ramp location

32.    Other options considered would involve breaking-through the existing retaining wall in an alternative location to the two existing flight of steps.   


Analysis & recommendation

33.    In terms of Option 1, the short flight of stairs, as well as Marygate Lane is adopted public highway (thus, we can use Highways powers in order to undertake these works).  Although the bottom of St. Mary’s is not adopted, the land-owner is supportive of our proposal.


34.    Option 2 would be complicated by land ownership issues - the longer flight of steps are not adopted highway.  Furthermore, practicalities in terms of greater level difference at this location; the requirement for a longer ramp; and the less attractive desire lines / counter-intuitive need to make tighter turns, means that this would not be the Officer’s recommended option.


35.    Option 3 should be discountered due to similar practicalties to the above; ownership/responsibility for the retaining wall; and the need to remove several mature trees here (which have Tree Preservation Orders associated).


36.    Option 1 is the Officer’s recommended option.


Cost estimate- £99,000

37.    This cost includes an estimate for works to utility apparatus, based on their figures, which includes an early ordering discount from one of them.  (Note, the lead-time to get the discount is probably 3 months).



38.    Advice has been sought from Development Services.  They have confirmed that this ramp could be regarded as falling within Part 12 Class A of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (Development by Local Authorities).  As such this is classed as permitted development for public highway purposes and further planning consent is not required.


Safety Assessment

39.    A stage 1/2 Road Safety Audit has been conducted.  It concluded that there were no significant safety problems with the design.


C. Widening of Railway Walk shared-use path

40.    Railway Walk is a shared-use unsegregated cycle and pedestrian path which runs parallel to Marygate car park and connects Scarborough Bridge to Marygate Lane.  It is currently between 2.4m and 2.6m wide.  The nearest adjacent row of parking bays (approximately 70 spaces) within Marygate car park alongside the birdsmouth wooden fence have been temporarily coned off for several months now to create a ‘pop up cycle lane’ as an Emergency Active Travel measure in response to the Covid 19 pandemic and the requirement for social distancing.


Options considered – Option 1, Modest widening of path

41.    This option involves widening this path to a consistent 3.4m width by taking approximately 1.0m from the car park, requiring the moving of the birdsmouth fencing and a full relining of the car park.  This would result in the permanent loss of 6 parking spaces.  The aisle widths within the car park would be adjusted to the minimum that we can operate – no further reduction is possible without significantly impacting on the number of spaces in the car park.  On the eastern side of the car park, echelon parking and a 1-way system has been included to allow the minimum aisle widths to be maintained elsewhere without the loss of any further parking spaces.  It is likely that we will also need to move a number of lighting columns which are positioned along the current boundary.


42.    NOTE:  Following consultation the proposed layout in Option 1 has been slightly adjusted to allow gaps in the birdsmouth fencing (and hatching out of the car parking space) at the end of each circulatory section of the car park to allow regular safe pedestrian and disabled access to and from Railway Walk / Marygate car park.  Appropriate warning signs will also be included here.  The proposed Option 1 can now be seen at Annex C.


Options considered – Option 2, Greater widening of path

43.    Options were considered for a wider path and a number of proposals for relining Marygate car park were explored and software vehicle-tracked.  The best-case scenario (of a 4.5m wide path)  resulted in a net permanent loss of an estimated 44 car parking spaces.  The nearest row of spaces (western side of the car park) would be amended to parallel parking, reducing their number.  Any further take of land from the car park would result in an even greater loss of parking spaces.


Analysis & recommendation

44.    The loss of 6 car parking spaces from Marygate car park has the potential to negatively impact income the council earns from this car park.  However at present the car park is infrequently at full occupancy and so the loss of only 6 spaces would have a mostly negligible impact.


45.    Any greater take (above 1.0m) from Marygate car park would result in the loss of at least 44 car parking spaces due to the need to reorientate the parking spaces here.  This is considered unacceptable by council Officers in terms of the potential loss of car parking income.


46.    Option 1 is considered the optimum compromise between the ambition to widen Railway Walk path whilst avoiding significant loss of parking spaces from Marygate car park.



47.    Option 1 is the Officer’s recommended option.


Estimated cost– £60,000

48.    This particular sub-project was not included in the original bid for TCF funding, nor the Change Request to WYCA which resulted in a budget of £300,000 being allocated to this package of proposals (including works to the Environment Agency’s floodgate).  Thus at present there is no budget for undertaking these work to Railway Walk.


49.    However, there is a small underspend on the main Scarborough Bridge project budget (of circa £50,000).  Due to the proximity of Railway Walk to the bridge, it would be considered suitable to utilise some of this underspend to fund these works.  Any further small shortfall could be funded from the council’s transport capital programme.


Safey assessment

50.    At 3.4m, the proposed widened path of Option 1 would be of a suitable width for an unsegregated shared-use cycle and pedestrian path, which would also be consistent with the unsegregated nature of nearby cycle facilities, including Scarborough Bridge and its approach ramps (of 3.0m width).  Recent DfT guidance issued as LTN 1/20 gives recommended minimum widths of shared-use routes (of up to 300 cyclists per hour) of 3.0m.  However it should be noted that this route is constrained on both sides (by a high boundary fence; and a low birdsmouth fence) thus reducing some of it’s usable width for cycling.


51.    It is suggested that the path would not be suitable for segregation given the available widths and existing pedestrian and cyclist flows.  It would result in below recommended minimum widths.  However ‘Keep Left’ signs could be introduced on an unsegregated path to promote social distancing.



52.    Covid-19 restrictions have meant that public consultation has had to be conducted entirely online.  This was launched on 24 September 2020.  The standard list of stakeholders and interest groups were emailed the materials and referred to the council website where plans were available.  A leaflet was hand delivered to all residences on St. Mary’s, St. Mary’s Lane as well as nearby properties on Bootham (within 50 metres of the junction), and Marygate Lane.  These properties were identified as those most likely impacted by any proposed changes.  Press releases and social media articles were released to encourage members of the public and users to comment on the proposals.  Consultation closed on 12 October 2020, although any responses received after this time have still been included.


53.    96x individual responses were received from the public, with the majority of these comments being in support of the proposed scheme.  Many important suggestions/comments/concerns, as well as objections, were received from multiple sources and these have been collated into common themes and can be seen at Annex D along with an Officer’s response to each.


54.    Additionally a collective objection was received on behalf of 20x St. Mary’s households which raised a number of conerns.  Again, the main points raised and Officer’s response is included in the above Appendix.


55.    York Cycle Campaign responded welcoming the proposals.  Regarding Bootham junction, they made the suggestion to include an early release cycle signal.  Regarding the ramp, they suggested signage indicating priorities and/or a convex mirror at the top of the ramp to avoid conflicts.  Regarding Railway Walk, they suggested Keep Left signage and signs at every entrance to the path indicating its shared-use.


56.    Transport 2000 responded stating their support for all proposals.


57.    Sustrans responded making a number of technical design comments which will be taken onboard at detailed design.  Regarding Bootham junction, they made the suggestion to include an Advanced Stop Line for cycles and an additional pedestrian crossing of Bootham to the north of the junction.  Regarding the ramp, suggestions were made for an alternative ramp orientation; or to increase the length and width of the proposed ramp.  Regarding Railway Walk, they recommended a wider path width than currently proposed.


58.    Ward Councillor D Craghill welcomed the scheme.  She raised a number of questions about the proposals and their interface with the listed gates on Bootham; as well as requesting an additional pedestrian crossing of Bootham to the north of the junction.  Regarding the ramp, she questioned the width of the proposal and asked if it would accommodate various non-standard cycles.  Furthermore, regarding Railway Walk, she requested a segregated pedestrian and cycle route through the car park.


59.    York Civic Trust welcomed in principal the proposals and supports the aim to improve this strategic route.  Regarding Bootham junction, the Trust suggests bringing the pedestrian crossing closer to the junction and requests that the hisotoric setts in front of The Drive are retained.  They questioned whether the gates here would be fixed in an open position at all times.  They asked that the heritage credentials of the area be adequately addressed with regards new signage being of appropriate size, placement and volume.  Concerning the ramp, the Trust supports the principle but requests that the heritage of this location is respected in the ramp’s design.  Regarding Railway Walk, the Trust supports the proposals and asks for clear signage. 


Council Plan

60.    “A Prosperous City For All”; “A Focus on Frontline Services”.  The proposed improvements between Scarborough Bridge and Bootham Park supports the prosperity of the city by improving the effectiveness, safety and reliability of the transport network, which helps economic growth and the attractiveness for visitors and residents.  Enhancements to the efficiency of the sustainable transport network in addition to promoting a traffic-free and safe access to and from the station and the York Central development site will improve the reliability and accessibility to other council services across the city.




61.    Funding for delivery of the project has been allocated from the Transforming Cities Fund - £280,000 (administered by West Yorkshire Combined Authority) with a small contribution from the council’s Capital Programme - £20,000.


62.    The scope of this project did not include alterations to Railway Walk and as such we can not spend TCF monies on these particular works.  However it is proposed to utilise underspend from the main Scarborough Bridge capital budget to undertake these improvements.


63.    The loss of 6 car parking spaces from Marygate car park has the potential to negatively impact income the council earns from this car park.  However at present the car park is infrequently at full occupancy and so the loss of only 6 spaces would have a mostly negligible impact.


64.    However, the prospect of losing a significant number of spaces permanently (i.e. ~70 spaces are temporarily coned off at present) is not supported as it would lead to a permanent reduction in revenue from this car park.  I.e. a reduction of ~44 spaces represents a 12-13% reduction of capacity and a key income generating asset.  This would lead to a potential annual reduction in revenue of between £44k-£88k (depending on occupancy).  If this option were to be pursued, it would need to be elevated to full Executive for their decision.


Human Resources (HR)

65.    There are no known human resource implications.


One Planet Council / Equalities

66.    The proposals will be designed with equalities in mind.  The primary purpose of the proposals are to improve access for all users, including those with mobility issues, and promoting sustainable transport.



67.    There are no known legal implications.


Crime & Disorder

68.    There are no known crime and disorder implications.


Information Technology (IT)

69.    There are no known IT implications.



70.    Responsibility for Marygate car park falls under Property Services.  The reallocation of approximately 1.0m from the car park to public highway is mostly negligible and would still fall under the council to maintain (Highways Services).


71.    However, any greater land take from the car park would be an unacceptable loss to car park capacity and it’s potential income, especially given budget pressures which the council faces.  Additionally, looking to the future, this would represent a significant loss of developable area, should we seek to redevelop this area in the long term.  As stated in paragraph 64 above, this would need to be considered by full Executive.


Conservation & Heritage

72.    The proposals fall within the city’s Central Historic Core Conservation Area.  The area has a number of listed buildings, especially on Bootham and St. Mary’s, with the gates and railings of Bootham Park being Grade II listed.  Any works need to be sympathetically designed.  The Council’s Conservation Architect was concerned that the proposed ramp onto Marygate Lane related poorly to the Conservation Area.




73.    There are no other known implications.


Risk Management

74.    The main risks that have been identified in this report are financial, relating to potentially higher project costs as a result of unforeseen utility diversions; and those relating to a failure to meet expectations which could lead to damage to the Council’s image and reputation.






Contact Details



Chief Officer Responsible for the report:

Richard Holland

Transport Projects Manager

Major Transport Projects




James Gilchrist

Assistant Director for Transport, Highways & Environment



Report Approved









Specialist Implications Officer(s): 

Financial Implications:

Patrick Looker, Finance Manager


Property Implications:

Nicholas Collins, Head of Asset & Property Management



Wards Affected:











Annex A(1)      Option 1 | Layout plan: proposed signalised junction of        Bootham & St. Mary’s

Annex A(2)      Option 1 | Revised parking / stop-line layout, St. Mary’s

Annex B          Option 1 | Plan & side elevation: proposed ramp from           Marygate Lane to St. Mary’s

Annex C          Option 1 | Layout plan: proposed widening of Railway          Walk and relining of Marygate car park

Annex D          Results of public consultation





1   * Certificate of Excellence in the ICE Yorkshire & Humber Civil Engineering Awards

* Highly Commended in the national CIHT Engineering Award

* Certificate of Merit in the national Structural Steel Design Awards