Decision Session – Executive Member for Transport


11 May 2021

Report of the Director of Environment, Transport and Planning


Urgent Item - Cycle Route Improvements (Nunnery Lane-Nunthorpe Grove)




1.         The existing cycle route through the South Bank area between Nunnery Lane and Nunthorpe Grove forms part of an alternative quieter road route for cyclists when Terry Avenue is flooded, it also forms part of a longer strategic route running between the edge of the city centre and the racecourse (see Annex A).

2.        The Environment Agency (EA) needs to close Terry Avenue as a through-route to pedestrians and cyclists to enable them to undertake flood protection works in the Clementhorpe area, the existing cycle route through South Bank has been approved as one of the diversion routes.  It is anticipated that the Terry Avenue closure will commence in May 2021 and be in place for up to 18 months.

3.        City of York Council officers have reviewed potential alterations to the existing designated cycle route. These include changes to the routing and a refuge area on Scarcroft Road, which could potentially be beneficial to users.  Mindful of the imminent EA works it is considered that it would be beneficial to implement any improvements which may be deliverable as soon as possible.

4.        Some preliminary development work has been undertaken to assess the feasibility of potential changes to the section of the route running between Nunnery Lane and Nunthorpe Grove. This initial feasibility work suggests that the existing signed route could be adjusted slightly and additional measures introduced to reduce conflict between cyclists and vehicles.  Although there is highway space available to improve the crossing of Scarcroft Road for both cyclists and pedestrians this would have other impacts.  Subject to funding being available and approval by the Executive Member, further work is needed to determine the specific equalities, environmental, safety, and parking impacts of the scheme. In addition there have been a number of comments raised during the initial contact with local residents in the Scarcroft Road area which will need to be addressed during the further development work.

5.        Further development work is therefore considered necessary to ensure that the initial designs are viable and that the concerns of the local residents are adequately assessed prior to a decision being taken on whether to progress the implementation of a scheme in the area.



The Executive Member is asked to:


·        Approve further investigation of improvements to the existing advisory Cycle Route between Nunnery Lane and Nunthorpe Grove.


·        Subject to the successful outcome of a Safety Audit approve the delivery of route alignment changes which are indicatively shown on the drawing in Annex B.


·        Approve further investigation of improvements to the crossing of Scarcroft Road and bring back a further report for a decision on whether to implement or not.


Reason: In order to adequately understand the impacts of the scheme and mitigate concerns raised by the residents impacted by the proposals.





6.        The existing cycle route between Nunnery Lane and Nunthorpe Grove forms part of an alternative quieter road route, avoiding Bishopthorpe Road, for cyclists when Terry Avenue is flooded or as part of the longer on-road route between the racecourse and the city centre. The route does, however, have some key constraints, primarily the arterial road crossing points which provide little or no assistance to cyclists. In addition some of the signage for the route is either missing, is discontinuous, or is obsolete as it references  the Terrys Factory, which is no longer in operation. It is therefore considered appropriate to review the route and develop potential improvements.


7.        The EA have planning approval to undertake flood protection works as part of the Clementhorpe and South Bank Flood Alleviation Scheme at a number of locations.


8.         A condition of that approval is to ensure the safe passage of pedestrians and cyclists between Butcher Terrace and the city centre by means of an approved diversion route which is to be implemented prior to the commencement of the Terry Avenue closure.


9.        The approved route, makes use of the existing cycle route along Nunthorpe Grove, Thorpe Street, Upper Price Street, Cygnet Street and Swann Street. Although the route is considered acceptable as a diversion, as indicated above, some concerns have been raised by stakeholders who have suggested the diversion route has the potential for further enhancement.


10.    Therefore whilst a diversion route for the EA scheme has been approved, city council officers were asked by the Executive Member, Local Ward Councillors and cycle groups to investigate whether improvements could be made to the route. The areas for review include the potential for alternative streets to be used (e.g. St Benedict Road rather than Swann Street to remove the need for cyclists to turn right onto the busy Nunnery Lane and Millfield Road rather than Thorpe Street to reduce the length of Scarcroft Road that cyclists would need to use) and enhancements to the crossing facilities on Scarcroft Road (see Annex B).


11.     The initial work for the Scarcroft Road crossing has identified a number of potential  options to enhance the route whilst Terry Avenue is closed by providing measures to protect the cyclists waiting to turn right into either Millfield Road or Upper Price Street whilst at the same time improving the mid-link pedestrian crossing which currently comprises a pair of dropped kerbs.


12.    An option which included a central right turn facility for cyclists protected by hatched areas at either end and a temporary central refuge on Scarcroft Road at the existing dropped kerb pedestrian crossing provided improvements for pedestrians and cyclists whilst attempting to minimise  impact on turning movements for motorised vehicles into and out of the side roads and residents’ parking


13.    Following distribution of a letter to residents, it became apparent that some frontages  had detailed comments about the impact of these measures. The main themes of these comments were about safety and impact on the loss of residents’ parking. These concerns will be considered as part of the further development of the scheme together with the environmental and equalities impact of the scheme.




14.    It is proposed to consult on the potential route changes with local residents plus local ward members and the city’s cycle groups to ensure any proposals address the issues raised during the EA’s consultations.


15.    A letter has been circulated to residents immediately affected by the potential central right turn cycle facility and improved pedestrian crossing on Scarcroft Road indicating that work was being planned in the area.


16.    Contact with these residents identified a number of concerns with the potential scheme , and officers have notified them that the proposals would be reviewed and a report presented to the Executive Member about the need for crossing improvements and potential mitigation measures to reduce the impact of the scheme.


17.    This report is asking the Executive Member to consider further investigation work into this proposal and approve funding for this to be undertaken.




18.    Recognising the changing use the Council, could enhance the Nunthorpe Grove to Nunnery Lane cycle route including improvements to the crossing facilities at Scarcroft Road.


19.    Option 1 - The route could be maintained on the existing alignment however this includes a significant length on Scarcroft Road and a potentially difficult right turn onto Nunnery Road.


20.    Option 2 - An alternative reducing the length of the route on the arterial roads could be progressed. This would use Millfield Road rather than Thorpe Street which would shorten the length using Scarcroft Road (and could be beneficial with or without improvements to the Scarcroft Road crossing). The route between Scarcroft Road and Nunnery Lane would use St Benedicts Road rather than Swann Street.




21.    Three options for the crossing of Scarcroft Road have been investigated as follows:


Option A. Cycle right turn lanes with hatch road markings for the turns into Upper Price Street and Millfield Road. No central islands.


Option B. Cycle right turn lanes with central islands and hatch road markings for the turns into Upper Price Street and Millfield Road. Pedestrian refuge in centre at existing dropped kerb crossing.


Option C. Middle ground between options 1 and 2. Cycle right turn lanes with hatching for the turns into Upper Price Street and Millfield Road. Pedestrian refuge in centre of lane at existing dropped kerb crossing.


22.    Note: that the version shared with residents was Option C




23.    The purpose of the review will be to analyse the impact of leaving the route as is or making changes to the alignment and Scarcroft Road crossing.


24.    It is proposed to undertake a safety audit of the proposed amended route and, subject to an acceptable outcome, implement the change using the existing minor cycle schemes budget.


25.    A review of the three options indicated that Option C should be investigated further as it had limited effect on turning movements in the area and attempted to minimise the impact on resident parking.


26.    A survey of the usage of residents parking will be undertaken along with forecasting on the use of the alternative cycle route.


Council Plan


27.    The proposals relate to the Council’s outcomes, as set out in the Council Plan 2019-2023.


28.     This is achieved through promoting good health and wellbeing, getting around sustainably, a greener and cleaner city, and safe communities for all.




29.    The following Implications have been considered:


·           Financial – It is proposed to use the existing Minor Cycle Schemes Capital Budget for the initial review of the route with the potential need for additional funds from the Council’s Cycling block allocation in the Capital Programme dependent on the outcome of the initial design work.


·           Subject to detailed design and confirmation of costs it is anticipated that the changes to the cycle route signage could be undertaken within the existing signage and lining and minor cycle scheme budgets.


·           Human Resources (HR)

·           There are no human resource implications.

·           Equalities    

·           The equalities implications of the proposal will be considered during the further development of the scheme.

·           Legal

·           There are no legal implications

·           Crime and Disorder        

·           There are no crime and disorder implications.

·           Information Technology (IT)

·           There are no IT implications

·           Property

·           There are no property implications.

·           Other

The implications of suspending residents’ parking will be considered along with the appropriate process to follow.  For example an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order or Temporary Traffic Regulation Order process may be appropriate in this case. Proposed delivery route to be confirmed after further development work.


Risk Management


30.      This report is seeking approval to undertake further investigation on proposals for an alternative advisory cycle route, there are no known risks at this stage.




Contact Details




Chief Officer Responsible for the report:


Tony Clarke  

Head of Transport

Transport Service



Gary Frost

Major Transport Projects Manager

Transport Service

James Gilchrist

Director of Environment, Transport and Planning


Report Approved










Wards Affected:  Micklegate Ward







For further information please contact the author of the report



Background Papers:




Annex A – existing cycle route through the South Bank area


Annex B – potential changes to South Bank route



List of Abbreviations Used in this Report


EA – Environment Agency