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Source: City of York

Published Tuesday, 20th August 2019

Temporary measures introduced to protect York’s busiest city centre spaces from terrorist attacks could be made permanent by City of York Council next week.

The council’s Executive will consider the results of a trial restricting vehicle access to the busiest city centre streets during footstreet hours (10:30-17:00) at its meeting next Thursday (29 August)

The changes were introduced last November following police counter terrorism advice for long-term measures to combat the ongoing threat of ‘vehicle as weapon attacks’ like those seen recently in Toronto, London and Nice.

If approved, a sliding bollard system would restrict access to Parliament Street, St Sampson’s Square, High Ousegate and Spurriergate, Coney Street, Davygate, Finkle Street, Church Street and Jubbergate during footstreet hours (10:30-17:00).

The Executive introduced the measures on a temporary basis to allow for work to understand the impact of restricted access on key groups, including disabled people and others with limited mobility within a core part of the city centre.

The council commissioned studies of how blue badge parking changed throughout the period, alongside a series of workshops with individuals and groups representing disabled people in York.

In addition to the available parking on the streets next to the restricted area, the executive will consider mitigation proposals including:

•             continued access to St Sampson’s Square for Dial and Ride services

•             creating blue badge parking on the traffic-restricted section of Piccadilly, and converting the taxi rank to blue badge parking during the day time (10:00-18:00)

•             extending the parking time restrictions outside Explore on Museum Street from 2 to 3 hours

•             supporting marketing efforts for alternative services like Shopmobility and Dial and Ride

Councillor Andy D’Agorne, deputy leader and executive member for transport, said:

“While terror attacks in the UK are very rare, the threat remains and we are fully aware of the risks. The safety of everyone in our city is the highest priority, so we have to act on police and counter-terrorist unit advice.

“At the same time, we have to consider how we can strike the right balance between  security and accessibility.

“We have been working with those businesses and residents who would be most affected to limit the impact of these restrictions, and I’d like to thank all those who have given their time to share their perspectives and ideas. These will inform this and many future decisions around the city centre.”

*If approved, the Piccadilly changes would be subject to a traffic regulation order change. The proposed changes would be advertised for up a three week period to allow for objections before a decision can be made.

Executive takes place on Thursday 29 August and will be webcasted live at www.york.gov.uk/webcasts

 To find out more about the report, or to attend the Executive meeting, visit: https://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=733&MId=11108&Ver=4

MIL OSI United Kingdom