As part of a £1.5 million restoration scheme to preserve and protect York’s medieval city walls – announced by City of York Council last month – road closures will be needed in Micklegate to allow the restoration works to be carried out safely.
The scheme will involve replacing Micklegate Bar’s roof and guttering by stripping this all back, replacing the timberwork and installing stainless steel strengthening ‘shoes’ to roof beams.
Two new walkway gates will also be installed. This will allow the Henry VII Experience museum to remain open when the bar walls themselves are closed. During the works both stairways allowing people access onto the walls will remain open to pedestrians at all times.
Micklegate retailers and businesses were consulted in advance about the works and invited to attend meetings with the council. Letters were also sent to all premises in the area.
Tony Clarke, head of transport at City of York Council, said: “We want everyone to benefit from this road closure, so it’s important that we can help traders and retailers take advantage of the reduced traffic in the area. We’ll be installing a huge wrap on the bar to make this area look much more attractive during the works. We hope this will encourage even more pedestrians to shop down Micklegate too.”
The council is also working closely with representatives from the Micklegate Business Initiative, who have helped to ensure that traders are aware of the works and any concerns can be addressed early on. The council is working with the traders to enable them to take advantage of the street closure.
Shelagh Garside, chair of the Micklegate Traders’ Association, said: “As a trader on Micklegate, I am of course concerned about the street closing during the work that is needed to repair the Micklegate Bar, but after having meetings with the council regarding this, I understand that this work to our fabulous gate is essential and if we are to preserve it for future generations then this needs to be done now.
“During this time, Micklegate will always be open for business as usual, with us trialing one or two new incentives on the street. We will be having a street food day where the cafes and restaurants can use the space outside to serve food. If successful then this may be something we will consider going forward with on our great street in the future.
“The Autohorn Micklegate Run Soapbox Challenge will go ahead on Monday 28 August 2017 and please pop and see our yarn storming which will be in place from the 2 July. Both these events will happen during the closure, so as you can see Micklegate will still be full steam ahead as normal.”
The works will be carried out in stages. But pedestrian access will be available at all times as one footway through the bar walls will remain open throughout the scheme. Cyclists will continue to have access along Micklegate too, although they will have to dismount at the bar itself at certain times during the works. Diversion routes for vehicles, principally via the inner ring road, will be provided throughout the works.
Access will also be available to Micklegate via Tanner Row/Toft Green at all times. Residential/business access will be available throughout the works.
The first phase will start on 12 June for three weeks. Scaffolding will be put up on Micklegate Bar to allow a temporary roof to be installed. A full road closure to traffic will be put in place for Micklegate Bar itself whilst the scaffold is put up. An outbound closure point will be put in place at the bottom of Micklegate hill but the rest of Micklegate will remain open up to the bar. Pedestrian and cycle access will be available throughout this period.
The next phase will be the main works and these will be carried out between 24 July and Friday 29 September for up to ten weeks. During this time there will be an outbound road closure only (cycle access will be available in both directions). This means the road will be open to inbound traffic through Micklegate Bar from Blossom Street/Nunnery Lane/Queen Street and via Toft Green and Tanner Row.
The final phase will be when the scaffolding is dismantled. This is expected to be between 2 October and 22 October. A full road closure to traffic will need to be put in place for Micklegate Bar again whilst this is dismantled.
The city walls are open every day from 8am to dusk. To find out more about the walls or about the projects visit: www.york.gov.uk/citywalls