Council asks disabled residents for feedback on foot-streets extension

City of York Council is asking disabled people across York to let them know how city centre changes made in response to coronavirus have affected accessibility.

a map of York City Centre showing the locations of the city's pedestrianised areas and parking for blue badge holders

In June 2020 the council executive agreed to emergency measures to expand the number of pedestrianised ‘footstreets’, which now run for an extra three hours until 8pm, to allow more space for social distancing and for cafes and restaurants to take advantage of pavement trading.

“The actions are designed to support the council’s Economic Recovery – Transport and Place One Year Strategy, adopted by the Executive on 24 June 2020. This aims to build resident, visitor and stakeholder confidence that York is a safe, healthy and attractive place for everyone”.

Replacement blue badge parking has been added at different locations around the edges of the city centre, with more added this week*. A free taxi service – set to continue until at least 20 September – has been available between Monk Bar car park and St Andrewgate.

Most of the spaces reserved for the disabled at Monk Bar car park have not been used

The council want to hear from all disabled 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.

The council wants to hear from disabled people, blue badge holders, carers and anyone else who feels the footstreets changes have affected the ease with which they can access the city centre.

The results of the engagement will:
1.    Provide ways to improve the existing alternative access arrangements
2.    Give the council’s Executive a full understanding of the impact of the footstreets extension and provide options to increase accessibility to the city centre if the extension continues.

With public gatherings difficult during the current restrictions, the council is using a survey approach – available online and hard copy – as well as talking to disabled groups across the city to reach their members.

The council is also scheduling an online workshop in Mid-September to explore the challenges.

You can join the conversation in a number of ways. You can fill in a survey by Monday 28 September at www.york.gov.uk/OBCAccess, 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, distributed to York households from 7 September.
If you are interested in taking part in an online workshop to explore the challenges around accessibility and footstreets and ideas please email OurBigConversation@york.gov.uk .

The changes

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