Cycling in York (Uni project)


New Member
Hi all, i'm currently in York with uni, we're working on a group project which will end in a 30 minute presentation on Thursday. We've decided to base ours on congestion, part of the task we are looking into alternative methods of transport, my area is cycling. Just wondering what people experiences are of cycling or commuting in York, are there many incentives offered to cycle, have conditions improved over the past decade (cycle lanes, drivers attitudes etc)

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Married to Night Train
Salford, UK
Hello! Nice weather we've had today, eh? Bit breezy mind....

I only really got into cycling when I came to York about 11 years ago, so I don't have much to compare it to - I did commute a bit by bike before that, but I didn't see myself as a cyclist, I just used my bike.

Generally, I find cycling in York is fine. we have our share of stupid drivers, and crap facilities, but the city is ideal for cycling - compact, flat, lots of narrow streets where the bike really will be faster than cars. I don't know that I've noticed much difference in the last 10 years really. A lot of people cycle, so I guess quite a lot of the drivers either also cycle sometimes, or know people who do, so it's not 'odd'. Yeah, you get the odd ranting lunatic, or chav, but they don't often bother me.

As for incentives, I don't need them. I don't have a car, so I'm not saving money that way. Both my jobs are with organisations that encourage cycling (well, one is actually a cycling magazine, so that figures - the other is an environmental centre, so there's a generally 'green' ethos).

To drive across York, on a normal working day, if you are capable of cycling, is just daft, unless you love traffic jams. Whereas on some routes (it depends where you're travelling to and from, the riverside can be a useful corridor, when it's not under water), cycles have the advantage of being able to take short cuts and so on.

And there are loads of bike racks in town - go to King's Square, and look at the rank of them on St Andrewgate - there must be 15-20 Sheffield hoops and often fairly full.

Plus, look up the new Bike Hub project, due to open later this year.


New Member
I doubt the breezes have changed over the last decade...

I've been cycling around York since 2001 so equally don't really have the decades worth of experience to refer to, but York has always seemed a good place for bikes - I've driven into cities like Leeds and Bradford and they look terrifying for cyclists. As Arch says, the size and geography of York means it suits cycling, and the number of cyclists means that drivers are conditioned to expect us. I know that when I'm driving I always check the inside mirror far more and take care turning left as, in York, there's so often a cyclist there.

Facilities... There are more cycle lanes popping up around the place, but I'm not sure they're always a good thing. I always stick on the road down Beckfield Lane as the new cycle path is complicated looking and mixed with pedestrians, but I'm sure some drivers think I 'ought to be on the path'. Generally though they're not bad, and I 'm very glad they're there around some busy junctions. Univeristy was always one of the most complicated places to cycle - which of those covered bits are paths, which ones cycle paths?

If you'd like a third opinion, my grandfather cycled round York from the 20s to the 90s, when he was bumped into the verge by a lorry. He reckoned standards had declined....


Resting in suspended Animation
I'd say York is mixed for cycling, I never particularly enjoyed it, thought the residents very anti-cycling on the whole. It's very easy getting about as roads are generally linear, simple there are a high number of off road facilities for a city its size but a lot of these were put in a long time ago. A downside for cycling is the dearth of bridges which makes it relatively difficult to commute from some areas to others. Another problem for cyclists is the A64.

Cycle parking in York is a bit funny. Although initially you think that the facilities are brilliant, if you look in depth at the issue York tends to counteract DfT advice and goes on massive splurges of cycle parking in one place and then there aren't many for quite a distance. York is fairly poor on higher tech cycle parking and is actually quite poor for parking outside the city centre. It depends how you measure it really, one could argue with how many cyclists there are there probably should actually be more cycle parking than there is, on the other hand it's only a small city.

P.S. I'm glad they are doing it, but that is a seriously overpriced bicycle hub. I'm surprised it got the go ahead.


New Member
Sorry guys i never managed to thank you for the info, i've been quite busy lately! We got 78% in the end so all is good :laugh:

I was really impressed with York, nice location and awesome pubs. The weather was brilliant, one day was slightly off but the others were t-shirt and short days :biggrin:
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