Consultation on City centre access arrangements for Blue Badge holders

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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 pandemic.

The principles of these changes being made permanent were approved by the York Council’s 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 5pm for access.

The city centre streets where the proposals would apply are as follows:

•    Blake Street
•    Castlegate
•    Church Street
•    Colliergate
•    Goodramgate between its junctions with Deangate and King’s Square/Low Petergate
•    Kings Square
•    Lendal
•    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
•    Deangate
•    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/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.

The council response to the issue will also be debated at full council this week.

“We hope that you are able to support the proposals but should you wish to object, you can email or write to us.”

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 address: Director of Economy & Place, Network Management, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA
•    Email:

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, 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 .

The changes

Coronavirus York updates: 15th July 2020

How the Council plans to use extra government transport grant

A secret meeting held today has endorsed a list of transport improvements on which the Council hopes to spend government grant money (Emergency Active Travel grant).

The list does not include any schemes in suburban or village areas, although there have been numerous requests for the Council to improve the maintenance of cycle tracks and to provide additional cycle parking stands on shopping streets. There is very little on the list for pedestrians.

Unfortunately the Council seems prepared to continue the dangerous (for cyclists) carriageway closure on Bishopthorpe Road and will add other contraflow cycle lanes on Coppergate and in The Groves area (Penley’s Grove Street).

Traffic counters are also on the Councils shopping list although traffic measurement tools like these have been deployed in the City for over 2 decades.

Ironically cycle improvements are promised on Tadcaster Road. Since the recent resurfacing this is probably the best road for cycling on in the whole of the City (although the off street path near Tesco does need levelling).

Once again there was no prior notice given of the meeting so residents had no opportunity to make representations before the decision was published. It really is about time for the Council to reintroduce at least a semblance of transparency and democracy back into its governance arrangements.

Deaths and positive test results

An additional positive test result was recorded in York on Monday. This brings the cumulative total to 911

There have been no further COVID 19 related deaths at York Trust Hospitals

Disabled parking changes

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The York Council is to relax its City centre ban on blue badge parking.

In another “behind closed doors” decision, approval has been given to create “a parking bay on Duncombe Place (at the north west end of the street) allowing parking for Blue Badge holders for up to 3 hours and loading for up to 30mins seven days/week”.

The Council is also to investigate and implement additional disabled bays in other on-street areas “where feasible”

The Council has pointedly not revealed how much use has been made of the additional 40 disabled spaces which it laid out at the Monk Bar car park. It appears that the vast majority have remained empty.  

The Council has been paying a taxi company to provide a lift service from the car park to Kings Square. It turns out that the cost to taxpayers has been £238 a day although the service has been little used. Now the hours of operation of the service are being extended to 8:00pm increasing the daily cost to £358 a day.

That is more than the Council used to spend on transport tokens which were made available to disabled people. The tokens could be used to purchase a door to door taxi service.

There is still no news of any help from the Council for suburban shopping areas like Front Street. It had been suggested that the relaxation of parking restriction there for blue badge holders could have provided both a boost for local traders plus a more convenient option for those with disabilities.


The Council has also revealed that lift out bollards and sockets are to be provided at three locations: Goodramgate (junction with Deangate), Blake Street and Fossgate (junction with Merchantage), at a cost of up to £5,000.

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Hostile bollards?

The Council says that these will support the enforcement of access restrictions but not provide “hostile vehicle mitigation”.

Staffing costs for manning the access points are put  at £4,800 for the first week when all three closures are staffed (approx. £690/day). “They will then reduce to approx. £1,900/week (approx. £280/day)”.

On street drinking

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The Council has approved the implementation of an “interim pavement café licensing process to enable the hospitality industry to apply for temporary pavement café licences in advance of the Business and Planning Bill being enacted. These temporary licences will be valid for a maximum period of three months after which they will be reviewed and extended for up to a year in line with the requirements set out in the new legislation (not beyond the end of September 2021)”

While allowing outside tables to be provided where space allows seems a sensible step during  the current health crisis, the lack of any comment on the implications on alcohol fuelled disorder have not been acknowledged by the Council. It is unclear where, and when,  the details of any applications will be published

No tip bookings from Monday

The appointment system, which is currently operating at York’s household waste sites like Hazel Court, will be discontinued with effect from Monday

NB. A response to a Freedom of Information request has revealed that the number of appointment requests at Hazel Court have been averaging around 275 a day. At Towthorpe the daily rate has been 214 recently.

Proposals for disabled parking on Piccadilly published

City of York Council has published proposed changes which would introduce new disabled parking to Piccadilly.

​​​​​​The changes were approved by the council’s Executive earlier this year following extensive consultation over the impact of new counter-terrorism measures to protect people using the city centre.

Three traffic regulation orders have been published, proposing:

1) Converting the current pay and display section between Lloyds Bank and Brighthouse into:

Blue Badge parking between 11am and 6am (overnight)
Loading bay from 6am to 11am
2) Converting the existing taxi rank on the opposite side of the road to:

Blue badge parking 11am to 6pm
Taxi rank 6pm to 6am (overnight)
Loading bay 6am to 11am
A third order allows any vehicle displaying a valid disabled person’s badge to access Piccadilly beyond the Merchangate junction – a practicality so that blue badge holders are actually able to access the new parking spaces.

These should create room for up to seven vehicles displaying valid badges to park between 11am and 6am, and another two from 11am to 6pm on the taxi rank side of the road. 

The cycle parking on Piccadilly remains unchanged.

The proposals and the reasons behind them can be inspected at Reception, West Offices, Station Rise, York, during normal business hours. 

Objections or other representations specifying reasons for the objection or representation should be sent in writing to arrive no later than 27 December 2019.

Director of Economy and Place
Network Management, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA
If objections are received, the proposals will be considered at a decision session for the Executive Member for Transport in early 2020.

You can view Executive’s original decision here while the consultation results and proposed mitigation measures are contained within Annex B.

NB. The future of the Airspeed site when the Spark container village leaves next summer has yet to be decided. It has been suggested that it could also be used for disabled car parking.