City of York Council is inviting disabled and less mobile people across York to an online workshop on 23 September.
The council want residents to let them know how city centre changes made in response to coronavirus have affected accessibility.
Emergency measures were agreed by the council executive back in June 2020 to expand a number of city centre 'footstreets' to allow more space for social distancing and give business the opportunity to take advantage of pavement trading.
These steps were taken to support the council’s Economic Recovery – Transport and Place One Year Strategy, agreed upon by the Executive on 24 June 2020. The strategy aims to reassure and demonstrate to residents, visitors and stakeholders that York is a safe, healthy and attractive place for everyone.
As a result of these changes, blue badge parking was relocated to a variety of locations around the edges of the city centre. In addition, a free taxi service has been available between Monk Bar car park and St Andrewgate to improve access to the city.
In light of these fast-paced changes, the council want to hear from all disabled and less mobile people in York, whether they use a blue badge or not, and any other residents who feel the footstreets extension has affected their ability to access the city centre.
You can join the conversation in a number of ways:
- workshop - An online workshop to explore the challenges around accessibility and footstreets and ideas will be held on 23 September. To find out more visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/footstreets-feedback-online-workshop-tickets-120383260573
- online survey - You can fill in a survey by Monday 28 September at www.york.gov.uk/OBCAccess
- paper survey - A hard copy of the survey along with a freepost return address will also be included in the September edition of the council’s Our City publication
The council is trying to contact every disabled group in the city. If you are part of a group or network that would like to discuss the changes, please contact us on OurBigConversation@york.gov.uk
Cllr Andy D'Agorne, Deputy Leader of the Council said;
"Our city has changed and adapted a lot over the past six months to respond to the pandemic that has impacted all aspects of our everyday lives. From increasing facilities for active travel, to expanding pedestrian space for social distancing - we know these changes will have impacted those living with disabilities or mobility issues. This is why this opportunity for feedback, learning and a wider conversation about city centre accessibility is so vital.
"I would encourage anyone who lives with a disability or who has experienced mobility issues (whether or not your carry a blue badge) to join this conversation, either through the survey or the online workshop next week, and help us work together to improve accessibility around the city during this challenging time."
Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning said;
"There have been temporary responses to the pandemic to respond to requests from businesses which now need to be reviewed for the longer term to ensure that all businesses and residents are able to have their say. It is vital that this consultation shapes the future of the city centre for long term adaptations, and the progression of a sustainable, inclusively accessible and family friendly area to flourish in the long term."