20 May 2021

Report of the Director of Environment, Transport and Planning

Portfolio of the Executive Member for Transport


York’s Local Transport Plan




1.        This report sets out a proposed scope, timescale and budget for York’s fourth Local Transport Plan.




2.        Executive is asked to endorse the approach set out in this report.


Reason: This will allow timely delivery of York’s fourth Local Transport Plan.




Context: Local Transport Plans


3.        A Local Transport Plan (LTP) sets out how a local transport authority will manage and develop its transport network.  The plan will set out the broad transport policies in the area by:


·               Specifying a vision for local transport

·               Specifying the objectives and targets for local transport

·               Setting out how the existing asset base (e.g. the highway network, cycle paths, park and ride network, car parks, traffic signals etc.) of the authority will be managed to deliver those objectives and targets

·               Setting out what new policies, projects and capital schemes will be instigated with a view to meeting the vision, objectives and targets of the authority in the future


4.        Crucially, the Local Transport Plan is not simply a list of schemes to be built; it sets targets and seeks a mandate to start work on developing policies and schemes to deliver those targets.  Some policies or schemes may fail during the feasibility or design stages, or be delayed because it’s not possible to attract funding for them or because closer scrutiny of more developed plans shows them to have unacceptable costs and/ or impacts.  However, inclusion of them within the LTP signals an intent to seriously investigate their feasibility and seek to deliver them if they are shown to be feasible and acceptable.




5.        York’s third LTP was published in 2011.  At that time, every authority needed to produce an LTP and update it every five years.  York’s LTP3 sets out a broad policy framework to 2031, with an implementation plan to 2016. 


6.        The requirement for LTAs to produce LTPs as statutory documents lapsed after the 2011 plan.  York’s third LTP has now been in place for 10 years and is due for update.  There is no fixed period of time for which a new LTP needs to be valid.


7.        Like LTP3, LTP4 will comprise a policy document which sets out transport objectives and policies for York, and a series of “daughter” documents which set out how those policies will be applied in particular areas of transport provision in York – for example, to bus services or walking and cycling policy.


8.        At this stage it is anticipated that:

·           The overarching policy document will be completed for publication as a draft for consultation in Winter 2021

·           The daughter documents will be completed through 2022, although some will be completed before this because they are working to other statutory timescales (for example, the Bus Service Improvement Plan is required by central government for October 2021).  A key part of the preparatory work for LTP4 will be to list and prioritise the daughter documents.


Changes in Transport


9.        In order to visualise the task the LTP has to do, it is helpful to consider transport in York within the context of achievements to date, the immediate future, and the longer term.


Achievements to date


10.    LTP3 set out CYC’s transport aspirations for the period from 2011.  A great deal has changed over that period and there has been a high level of achievement against the aspirations of LTP3 – in particular:


·      A review of York’s LTP3 by York Civic Trust concluded that around 85% of the projects in LTP3 had either been delivered or where being progressed towards delivery

·      Funding has been obtained to deliver major schemes for York Central, increasing the capacity of the A1237 (between the A19N and Hopgrove junctions) and improve the area in front of York Station.

·      Mandates have been secured to develop projects to improve the area around Castle car park and for a new station at Haxby

·      In the early years of LTP3, funding was obtained to build new park and ride sites at Poppleton Bar and Askham Bar and improve the junction between the A1237 and A59 Harrogate Road, and these projects were delivered in 2014

·      A new segregated cycle and footpath has been provided linking Clifton Moor and Haxby

·      A Clean Air Zone has been introduced covering much of central York.  All buses used regularly in the city have been upgraded to Euro VI standard

·      There has been great progress electrifying the bus network with 33 electric buses now in use in York – the second highest number for any authority outside London. 

·      Improvements for pedestrians and cyclists have been made on Scarborough Bridge and its approaches

·      More recently the footstreets area has been expanded and Micklegate Bar has been closed in one direction to motorised traffic.


11.    Some outcomes have been good, in particular the substantial increase in the number of bus trips in York – something which is unique in northern England and has facilitated other improvements, such as the partial electrification of the bus network.


12.    However, many roads in York remain congested with ongoing serious adverse effects of noise and air pollution from motor vehicle use seen across the city.  Bus and rail services also face substantial challenge as they seek to recover passengers lost during the covid pandemic.


13.    In the immediate future, transport in York will enter into a period of great change.  There will be housing and population growth as set out in the Local Plan.  The major schemes for York Central, the Outer Ring Road and the area in front of the Station will be completed.  There will be changes in the external environment around devolution and local government reorganisation, and in how bus services are provided.  Technological change will reduce the need to travel for commuting, work, shopping and study as the UK recovers from the covid pandemic.  There will be changes in the composition of the city centre and edge of centre retail and employment parks.  There are entirely new modes of transport, such as e-bikes and e-scooters, which blur the traditional boundaries between cycling and powered two-wheelers, and cycling and walking.


14.    The “present” is also characterised by a growing urgency – driven by a greater weight of scientific evidence - to reduce the climate and air quality impacts of transport – which currently emits around one-third of greenhouse gases in the York area.  “Transport” is, even more than before, seen as the delivery mechanism for wider social and economic improvements – for example, access to employment and training, and increasing physical activity to improve public health.


15.    In the longer-term future transport is beginning to look very different, whatever is set out in York’s fourth LTP.  There will be large scale changes because of factors which reflect more general societal/ technological changes, as well as developing central government policy (e.g. around climate change), and land and infrastructure developments in York which are already underway. 


16.    To get an idea of foreseeable and/ or committed changes, imagine it is 2030 and you are standing at the top of the Minster’s central tower.  You can see the new offices in York Central and the houses built beyond Clifton Moor and at Langwith.  Below you electric buses, bikes and scooters glide along the city’s roads.  Most cars and vans are electric too, now.  There is less traffic in the city centre because it now travels on the dualled outer ring road.  The area in front of the Station has been transformed into two large open squares.  You can catch a train to Haxby, and the trains to Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and London are faster and more frequent.  Office workers work from home, or shared offices near their homes, one-third of the time.  Most people do the majority of their shopping, banking and personal business online.  Many more people live in the centre of York.  Castle car park is now an events space.  There are more and better cycle lanes, and more cyclists.  People, particularly younger people, are less likely to own a car, but more likely to be members of a car club – and many don’t learn to drive.  Cars and vans still have to “driven” in urban areas, although many have some degree of autonomous operation on motorways and A-roads.


17.    As such, York’s fourth Local Transport Plan will preside over a period of irresistible and pervasive change.  It will set out not just how York responds to that change, but how it gets a mandate to develop policies and schemes to allow the city to take advantage of those changes to achieve its economic, environmental and public health aspirations.


Scope of the LTP


18.    LTP4 will build on the work already done for initiatives like My City Centre and the Local Plan and will complement the strategies being developed for York’s Economic Recovery and Carbon Reduction/ Climate Change.


19.    Whilst LTP4 is taking place in an era of great change, there will be a number of fixed points it will need to have regard to.  For example these will be:


·      The York Local Plan and its associated infrastructure delivery plan.  Crucially, this includes some substantial infrastructure interventions

·      The committed major transport schemes – particularly for the A1237, York Central and the area around York Station

·      National transport improvements to the strategic highways network, particularly the A64, and to the rail network

·      Central government policies to improve walking and cycling infrastructure and bus services, and to encourage adoption of non-fossil fuel vehicles

·      There will also be a need to consider regional policy and how this would be influenced by local government reform and new combined authorities.


20.    The LTP also needs to consider the December 2019 Full Council motion to reduce car use in central York and around the city’s schools, and CYC’s commitment to zero carbon. 


21.    LTP4 will also be developed alongside the city’s Economic Recovery Strategy and Carbon Reduction/ Climate Change Strategy, so that the strategies are self-reinforcing.  It is likely that all the strategies will be published at around the same time.


22.    There are also significant unknowns around LTP4 as societal and technological change, and recovery from covid, play out.  Consequently it is proposed that LTP4 concentrates on a 15 year period, but with a review after each five year period.  Evaluation data will, as now, be collected annually.




23.    Annex A contains details of the consultation process for the Local Transport Plan.


Governance arrangements


24.    Transport polices and investments play out over long periods of time – longer than electoral cycles.  As such, it is important that an effective transport plan enjoys support from a wide sector of the political spectrum and also wider stakeholders in the city.


25.    As such, a governance structure will be formed, comprising:


·               An all-member steering group – cross-party and convened through Democratic Services 

·               There will be a large group formed of key stakeholders in the city – for example, representing the economic and transport groups within the city and also those with specific requirements of the transport network – for example those with the sensory and/ or mobility impaired

·               There will also be more general technical discussions and consultation with key sectors (e.g. freight, public transport, active travel, and people with restricted mobility) as the plan evolves.


26.    The all-member steering group will meet to make recommendations to the Executive Member/ Executive at key points as the plan develops.  The large stakeholder group being involved at the close of critical stages of the LTP, as set out in the GANTT chart (annex B).  Technical discussions will be particularly focussed around putting the packages of measures together.


27.    On a day to day basis the LTP will be managed by CYC officers.  Professor Tony May of York Civic Trust’s Transport Advisory Group is acting in a challenge and advisory capacity.  Alongside the LTP the Civic Trust is undertaking its own transport research activities to provoke thought and discussion on transport topics as CYC develops the plan itself.




28.    The GANTT chart in (Annex B) sets out the timescales for LTP4 between the present and an assumed completion in September 2022.  At this stage it is anticipated that the main LTP policy document will be published in draft in December 2021, alongside York’s Economic Strategy and Carbon Reduction/ Climate Change strategies.


Council Plan


29.    The measures proposed in this paper support all the sustainable transport objectives in the Council Plan, and also economic development objectives, objectives to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions in York.




·          Financial - A budget of £200,000 is available in 2021/22 for completion of the Local Transport Plan.  Spending under this budget is delegated to officers.

·          Human Resources (HR) - N/A

·          One Planet Council / Equalities - The LTP has a critical role in promoting equality of access to the transport network and, by implication, to the opportunities afforded by use of York’s transport network.

·          Crime and Disorder- N/A  

·          Information Technology (IT)- N/A

·          Property - N/A

·          Other - N/A

·          Risk Management  - N/A


Contact Details



Julian Ridge

Sustainable Transport                   


Chief Officer Responsible for the report:

Neil Ferris

Corporate Director of Place



Report Approved







Specialist Implications Officer(s)  List information for all


Implication : Financial                        Implication: Legal

Patrick Looker                                  Cathryn Moore



Wards Affected:  List wards or tick box to indicate all






For further information please contact the authors of the report





Annex A – Consultation Process for the LTP

Annex B – Gantt Chart