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Residents invited to workshops to make city centre accessible

Published Tuesday, 20 February 2024

To help make York city centre more accessible for all, residents are invited to sign up to a series of in-person, detailed workshops.

Blue Badge holders’ access to the city centre reopened on 4 January 2024 and we’ve been gathering feedback on users’ experiences and suggestions for improvement as part of an accessible and inclusive programme of engagement activities. Residents were invited to take part in two online consultations on improving city centre accessibility and two drop-in sessions for Blue Badge holders were held in December.

Now, we’re inviting disabled residents, businesses and community groups to sign up to attend one of six in-person, accessible workshops. These are part-funded by the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund and will be run by inclusive and independent access experts Mima in collaboration with the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York and the council’s Access Officer.

The workshops will focus on:

  • what could be done to make York more accessible for residents and commuters?
  • getting your views on alternative ways we can enable Blue Badge holders access through the entry and exit barriers instead of the current process of using barrier staff at each entrance
  • current accessibility challenges in the city centre
  • key areas for accessibility improvements

Up to 20 participants are invited to sign up to each of these six workshops:

For residents with lived experience of disability:

  • Thursday 14 March, 10.00am to 12.00pm at Burrows Room, Citadel, Gillygate, YO13 7EA
  • Friday 15 March, 2.00pm to 4.00pm at Tang Hall Community Centre, Fifth Ave, Tang Hall, YO31 0UG
  • Sunday 17 March, 11.00am to 1.00pm at Ellis Room, Acomb Parish Hall, 18a Front St, Acomb, YO24 3BZ

For business people:

  • Thursday 14 March, 6.00pm to 8.00pm at the Chase Room, Delta Hotels by Marriott York, Tadcaster Road YO24 1QQ

For members of any York community groups:

Saturday 16 March, 2.00pm to 4.00pm at Penn Room, The Friends’ Meeting House, Friargate YO1 9RL Monday 18 March, 10.00am to 12.00pm at Burrows Room, Citadel, Gillygate YO13 7EA

Please confirm your attendance online.

For more information or to request this information in an alternative format, please email

Cllr Katie Lomas, Executive Member for Finance, Performance, Major Projects and Equalities at City of York Council, said:

“Hearing, capturing and taking on board differing experiences and suggestions is key to our accessible and inclusive programme of engagement activities.

“Taking part will help us make informed decisions about the next steps we can take to ensure Blue Badge holders and other disabled people are able to easily and effectively access the city centre.”

Cllr Peter Kilbane, Executive Member for Transport and Economy at City of York Council, said:

“York’s city centre is a really special place, and we want everyone to enjoy it.

"These workshops seek to co-produce longer term solutions that ensure the city is as accessible as possible to all. Your voice matters in these conversations so please join the workshops: you’ll be very welcome.”

Emily Yates, Head of Accessibility and Inclusive Design at Mima, said:

"The workshops will provide an opportunity for disabled people, businesses and wider York residents to share their thoughts on the current as-is accessibility situation in the city, before discussing and co-producing potential solutions and improvements.

"Mima's role will be to collect workshop data and feed this back to decision makers within York, but ultimately, we are there to listen."

Professor Paul Gready, Co-Director of the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York, said:

“These workshops are a great opportunity for people in the city to have their say on access issues, ranging from Blue Badge access to seeking ways to make the city more accessible to everyone.

"We hope that residents will take up this opportunity to shape the long-term future of our city”.

Once the installation and connection of the hostile vehicle measures is completed at Easter this year, access for Blue Badge holders will also be via staffed, sliding bollards at Blake Street, through St Helen’s Square and out through CCTV-controlled sliding bollards at Lendal. Residents and Blue Badge holders will continue to be able to drive into the city centre outside these hours.  

Keep in touch with consultation events by signing up to Our City e-newsletter or visit our Blue Badge Access webpage