Fossgate is one of York's best loved streets, with its own special character in the heart of the city. The variety of independent shops, cafés, restaurants and pubs attracts a diverse range of residents and visitors.
We want to continue working with residents and businesses to support Fossgate's vibrant, growing community.
In a recent consultation (during October 2018) we asked for your feedback on how to invest £500,000 to:
- make Fossgate more pedestrian-friendly
- attract more people to Fossgate by enhancing its appearance and character
- improve access to Fossgate for pedestrians and cyclists
We will use your comments to help us create the final designs for improvements to Fossgate, and to help the Executive Member for Transport and Planning make the decision whether to go ahead at the open decision-making session on Thursday 15 November 2018.
If we decide to go ahead with the proposals, we'd like to minimise disruption by coordinating the improvement work with other roadworks in the area, taking place at the quietest time of the year (starting in January 2019).
Proposals for improving Fossgate
Our map of the proposed improvements to Fossgate has been based on comments we've received from residents and businesses over several years. Your feedback will help us to make sure we’re working towards the best scheme to meet the needs of residents and businesses, while delivering our shared vision for Fossgate.
Making Fossgate more pedestrian-friendly
Fossgate traders and customers say it's best when the street is closed to traffic, for example, during Fossgate Festival events, which have been running for the last 4 years. We've recently changed the direction of traffic on Fossgate, significantly reducing the numbers of vehicles using it as a through-road.
Fossgate is already recognised as a Pedestrian and Cycle Zone, meaning only service vehicles and residents have access between 8.00am and 6.00pm; outside of these times, parking is restricted to permit holders or time-limited 'pay and display'. This arrangement gives Fossgate a pedestrianised feel, whilst allowing traders and residents the 24-hour access they need.
We're proposing some minor changes to access including:
- widening sections of paving and creating extra space for café tables and seating
- adding cycle stands, benches and trees
- introducing speed bumps and pedestrian crossings
- improving signs about restrictions
Attracting more people to Fossgate
- create attractive matching 'gateways' at both ends of Fossgate
- change the Pavement and Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate junction, including improvements to surfaces and crossings
Improving access to Fossgate
To further improve access to Fossgate for pedestrians and cyclists, and to enhance its character, we propose to:
- replace any damaged or tired looking paving using Yorkstone for a consistent feel throughout
- resurface the road to remove any uneven surfaces and potholes
- retain the cobbles over Foss Bridge to keep its 'conservational' feel
Alternatives considered for Fossgate
In line with other footstreets in York, Fossgate could be pedestrianised between 10.30am and 5.30pm every day, which would mean more car-free hours. Most resident, delivery and service vehicles would be unable to access the street during these hours, while blue badge parking would be strictly limited - as such we believe this option would have a negative impact on residents and businesses.
A shared space between pedestrians and cyclists has been considered for Fossgate. However, there are mixed views on this type of environment, in particular by groups representing visually impaired people. This concern is related to excluding anyone who finds it difficult to navigate areas with level surfaces, where the distinction between pavement and road is removed. The Department for Transport has asked councils to pause the introduction of any new ‘shared space’ schemes.