The formal consultation phase has begun on whether to make permanent some of the changes to the footstreets that were introduced in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The principles of these changes being made permanent were approved by the Executive in November 2020, alongside an ongoing review of access to the city centre, with the formal decision delegated to the Executive Member for Transport.
At the Executive Member’s Decision Session on the 22 June, the detailed proposals were considered by the Executive Member, including a number of additional Blue Badge parking locations, and agreed to commence the statutory formal consultation to allow a future decision to be made.
The statutory consultation is around the proposal to permanently remove the Blue Badge exemption which allows vehicles displaying a Blue Badge to use a number of city centre streets between 10.30am and 5.00pm for access.
The city centre streets where the proposals would apply are as follows:
- Blake Street
- Church Street
- Goodramgate between its junctions with Deangate and King’s Square and Low Petergate
- Kings Square
- St Andrewgate from the highway boundary line on the north east side of Colliergate and north east for 50 metres
- St Helen’s Square
The precise locations are listed on the York Traffic Management (Amendment) (No 14/10) Order 2021.
This proposal aims to improve road safety in some of the city centre’s busiest pedestrian streets whilst at the same time balancing the needs of businesses and city centre residents.
Removal of the exemption would reduce the number of cars driving in areas where large numbers of pedestrians gather, and increases the security of the area against the potential risk of hostile vehicles being used in terrorist attacks.
At the same time, we are proposing to introduce additional Blue Badge parking around the edge of the footstreet area. The following locations have been identified as being suitable (subject to approval):
- Carmelite Street
- Duncombe Place
- Dundas Street
- St Andrewgate
- St Saviourgate
- a shared Disabled Person’s (Blue Badge) Parking Place and Loading Bay on Duncombe Place
This would improve the parking availability for Blue Badge holders on the very edges of the pedestrian area and cater for some loading and unloading activities.
These Blue Badge parking proposals were developed after workshop sessions were held earlier this year, where the council listened to members of the public on potential Blue Badge parking options in workshops.
As part of the consultation, there was also a survey that could be completed by Blue Badge holders.
At the June Decision Session, the Executive Member for Transport also approved further investigation into additional Blue Badge parking areas.
Councillor Andy D’Agorne, Deputy Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Transport, said:
The conflict between pedestrians and vehicle movement on some of the footstreets has been an ongoing concern for a number of years.
“The proposal was developed after initially introducing covid response measures on a trial basis last summer and extensive engagement with York residents, where we consulted on the impacts.
“In April this year, Blue Badge holders were invited to share their views on potential new parking spaces on the edge of York city centre through completing a survey and attending workshops.
“Based on resident’s feedback, these new Blue Badge parking options have been proposed on the edge of the footstreet areas. We will also be exploring additional Blue Badge parking options in York city centre. This will help to ensure that there is an improved quality of Blue Badge parking, alongside the increased availability of Blue Badge parking spaces.
“We hope that you are able to support the proposals but should you wish to object, you can email or write to us.”
The council response to the issue will also be debated at full council this week.
Should you wish to object, please email or write to the contact details below, giving your grounds for objection, to arrive no later than 6 August 2021.
Postal objections should be sent to:
Director of Economy and Place
Objections by email should be sent to: email@example.com.