Free parking offer to continue in York

The one hour of free car parking in many of York’s car parks is to continue during September. Other changes have been made which will also see a cheaper “Minster Badge” introduced.

Castle car park

It was another “behind closed doors decision” with the following changes agreed

  • Extend the 1 hour free parking initiative which has been in place for August to the end of September and increase the marketing and promotion to drive up the take up of the offer.
  • In October to launch a new Minster Badge offer which would be valid until the 31st March 2021 for the cost of £2, the equivalent of one evenings charge. Minster Badges provide free evening parking and a discount to residents who purchase one.
  • To standardise the time evening parking charges commence in off street car parks where evening charge is applicable to 5pm for Minster Badge Holders seven days a week until the end of March.
  • To reduce the coach parking tariff to a flat rate of £6.70 per hour (similar to the current hour charge.

Changes to the parking machines will cost £10,000

The Council has not revealed how many motorists took advantage of the discounted parking rates offered in July and August. It does say that car park use has increased back to traditional levels quicker than was anticipated.

It has not released, for general use, the spaces at Marygate and Monk Bar car parks which were taken out of service a couple of months ago.

An extension of the taxi service to and from Monk Bar car park for blue badge holders until the end of September has been agreed. No details of the level of use of this service have been revealed by the council.

NB. At the end of the Summer Holidays the temporary toilet provision that was installed on Parliament Street will be removed.

Coronavirus York updates; 19th June 2020

Deaths and test results

There have been no more Coronavirus deaths at York Trust Hospitals. The cumulative total remains at 213.

There have also been no more positive lab test results (17/6/20). The last positive result was on 2nd June which saw the cumulative total number of cases rise to 462. This has been the longest sequence of negative results in the City since the pandemic began.

Public Toilets

In addition to reopening existing public toilets, the Council is providing additional trailer facilities at St Sampson Square and Parliament Street.

Tourism recovery plan published

Welcome to Yorkshire has published a plan detailing how it expects the critical visitor economy to revive over the next few months. The plan can be read by clicking here. The proposals include a “Song for Yorkshire project to help celebrate the civic pride in our county”. There will also be a Welcome to Yorkshire Gift Card

Bus Grants

The Council has annouced how it will allocated government bus grants.

City of York Council has been awarded a total grant of £59,970 for the 12-week period commencing 17th March. The grant can only be used to support operators of council-tendered bus services and any unused grant must be returned to the DfT. The grant will be apportioned as follows:

  • ConnexionsBuses: £5,210.67
  • East Yorkshire Buses: £20,204.35
  • First York: £3,096.69
  • Transdev: £24,750.91
  • York Pullman: £6,707.38

Older residents trial new interactive games technology

Care home residents wanting to keep more active and alert through lockdown are trialling a new interactive light projector.

Those who can’t welcome visitors during the pandemic are enjoying this technology, and trying out new activities to support their physical and emotional health.

Older people, especially those living with dementia, are experiencing the brightly-coloured shapes and games which are projected onto tables, bed coverings, walls or floors. Playing and interacting with them can help improve co-ordination, stimulate responses and raise levels of social and physical activity.

Coronavirus York updates; 13th June 2020


There have been no further deaths at the York Trust hospitals. The total number remains at 212

Special Educational Needs (SEN) action

Following criticism about the way that young people with SEN were being treated in York, a list indicating the improvement actions being taken was agreed last week. Although normally such a report would have attracted some public interest, it was again dealt with “behind closed doors”. The report can be read by clicking here

Outbreak Management Advisory Board

The Government has announced the roll-out of the NHS “Test and Trace” programme across England, The programme will be supervised by an advisory board of 15 members (three of whom will be Councillors), which will meet every three weeks.

As the Council claims that it is still not party to the results of the tests being carried out at the Poppleton testing site, it remains to be seen how relevant this new body will actually be.

The report can be read by clicking here

Cheaper weddings – fee waived

The Government have indicated that the possibility of small weddings recommencing by July 20 is now likely.

In order to marry you need to give ‘notice’ (28 days) before any marriage and pay the appropriate fee (£70).

“As a number of the weddings that have been cancelled by the council at Government direction during the covid crisis will be rebooked in many instances the Notice of Marriage (NOM) has lapsed”.

Sarah Jessica Parker Hbo GIF by Divorce - Find & Share on GIPHY

A repeat fee payment is not being sought by the Council.

It is unclear whether any discounted divorces will be available although, post lock-down, demand may be be high

Public toilets

The York Council has agreed to reopen public toilets click

Multi storey car parks reopening on Monday

The Council has agreed the following changes to parking arrangements with effect from Monday

1. Approved the re-opening of Piccadilly and Foss Bank car parks when Covid_19 based restrictions are eased and non-essential businesses open on the 15th June;

2. Approved implementing a 2 metre line around all Parking payment machines to assist with social distancing;

3. Approved the scaling up the parking enforcement operation from the 8th June (subject to COVID_19 alert stage), with an advisory letter being used for the first week (up to the 15th June) at the parking service’s discretion;

4. Approved the restart of the Abandoned vehicle service from the 15th June;

5. Approved to reinstate car park capacity in the city centre by the 15th June 2020 to reflect the reopening of retail in the city centre on the 15th June (subject to COVID_19 5 stage) and to transition from free parking for key workers in CYC public car parks to dedicated provision for NHS workers in the coach park at Union Terrace car park. This will be reviewed in September 2020 and work will be undertaken with the hospital to support active travel options. Exceptional circumstances will be managed through free passes.

6. Approved the continuation of the Pay on exit project for Marygate and Piccadilly going out to tender in June and exploring the implementation across all viable CYC car parks with decisions on further rollout to be brought back to the Executive in the Autumn 2020

7. Approved the reprovision of free blue badge parking displaced by the extension of footstreets in CYC public car parks with specific additional space provision in Monk Bar car park.

North Yorkshire Leaders Q & A on Tuesday

There will be another on line session on Tuesday. Generally these North Yorkshire run events are more informative than their York counterparts, although they also claim not to know how many positive COVID tests there have been locally!

“Leaders of North Yorkshire’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic will give an update on the work they are doing, and answer questions from residents and businesses.

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan will lead the live update and will be joined by:

  • Chief Constable Lisa Winward – North Yorkshire Police
  • Chief Fire Officer Andrew Brodie – North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Richard Flinton – Chief Executive of North Yorkshire County Council and Chair of the multi-agency North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum

Members of the public are invited to watch the meeting from 1.00pm on Tuesday on YouTube and submit questions in advance by emailing, posting on Twitter using the hashtag #NYscrutiny or commenting on Facebook”.

£70,000 investment to refurbish city centre toilets

City of York Council is investing £70,000 to refurbish Silver Street and Coppergate public toilets in York’s city centre – with the works starting next week.

Works to update the Silver Street facilities will start on Monday 5 November. They are expected to take around two weeks to complete – ahead of the lead up to the Christmas festivities and St Nicholas Fair.

The refurbishment will be carried out in stages, once Silver St is completed, works will then start on Coppergate. The disabled toilets (changing places) and market traders’ toilets at Silver Street will be refurbished first, followed by other facilities. There will be a full closure of Silver Street from Monday 5 November for two weeks.

There will be signage in place signposting visitors to alternative city centre facilities, which include Coppergate, Exhibition Square and Rougier Street.

The work will be managed by Healthmatic, the council’s toilet management contractor, who will be investing their money and time in the sites as well.


York’s public conveniences’ refurbishment set to start

Work on a £663,000 refurbishment of York’s public conveniences starts on Monday

The contractor Healthmatic will take over the refurbishment and maintenance of facilities in the city centre and Acomb to both improve cleanliness and disabled access, while making required savings of £75,000.

Work at the Union Terrace car and coach park will start on Monday 24 March, and temporary facilities will be installed next door, with no charge for entry during refurbishment.

Acomb toilets

Acomb toilets

At Nunnery Lane car park, work will start on Monday 31 March. The men’s facilities will remain open and the night-time toilet and accessible toilet will be temporarily available for women, again with no charge for entry during refurbishment. Both projects will complete in early May.

Upgrading will take place at the public toilets on Acomb’s Front Street, Coppergate, Exhibition Square, Tanner Row and those at the car parks on Nunnery Lane and St George’s Field. Besides improvements to the Silver Street toilets which already includes a Changing Place disabled facility, an additional Changing Place will be built as part of the refurbishment at Union Terrace car park’s toilets.


Spending 40p – York Council flushed with optimism

The York Council is handing over the running of its public conveniences to a private contractor.

Toilet sign

A standard charge of 40p will be made to users. The contractor will be able to increase the charge by 10p per annum.

The news is not particularly surprising although the scale of the charge is.

Visitors already tortured by traffic restriction fines now face another form of discomfort. The vendetta follows on from the high profile persecution of those “caught short”.

The Council has now published a list of 9 further offenders all of who faced fines of over £100. One urinated outside the Magistrate Court building conveniently saving on transport costs.

The Council hopes to save £75,000 a year from the charge. In return it promises a £663,000 refurbishment programme including £33,000 to be spent on the Front Street Acomb toilets.

All toilets will have unisex cubicles and have baby change facilities. Accessibility will be greatly improved with all facilities having alarm cords for disabled users connected to a 24-hour helpline and there will be 24-hour access to all toilets. This will be controlled by gates operated by payment of a 40p fee – what is already being charged at Silver Street – while disabled users are can continue to use RADAR keys for no charge.

Nine public conveniences will be provide under the new arrangements. The nine are located at:

  •  Acomb, Front Street
  •  Haxby, Main Street
  •  Coppergate
  •  Exhibition Square
  •  Nunnery Lane CP
  •  Silver Street
  •  St George’s Field CP
  •  Tanner Row
  •  Union Terrace

Other public conveniences will close

York marathon faces sprint rival

run to loo

A new York Sprint race is to be held next summer for the first time. The event will aim to find the fastest visitor to the City.

Entrants will be asked to drink 3 pints of lager and will then be given a map of the Councils new network of public conveniences. Contestants will then race to the nearest site.

In line with the publicity for the Lendal bridge closure, recommended routes to the loos will be marked out making full use of the northern by pass.

On arrival 50% of the conveniences will be closed for cleaning.

CCTV cameras will be strapped to the back of each contestant to ensure that they do not cheat.

The entry fee for the contest will be 40p Multiple entries are allowed but will be charged separately.

Entry forms will be available on the Council web site shortly.

NB. The event has no connection with the “brass monkeys” race although the consequences could be similar.