Blue Badge holders asked for views on parking

City of York Council wants York’s Blue Badge Holders views on potential new parking in York city centre.

Front Street

Unfortunately the survey does not extend to suburban shopping areas like Acomb Front Street. One suggestion there is that the pedestrian area should be suspended on one day per week to allow access for Blue Badge holders.

The council says it is reviewing options to provide additional Disabled Parking locations at the edges of the pedestrianised ‘footstreets’ area. It is doing so before considering whether to make permanent the temporary changes to access arrangements introduced last year, potentially removing Blue Badge access exemptions on specific streets.

This would make the current temporary arrangements permanent, with no vehicles allowed to enter the footstreets area between 10:30am and 5pm (apart from emergency vehicles and a very limited number of service exemptions).

A separate consultation will take place over the decision. For now the council wants to understand how useful these potential additional Blue Badge parking locations next to the footstreets would be.

The new locations represent a mix of new parking bays, potential shared spaces and options to improve some double yellow line parking with dedicated bays.

The areas under consideration are: 

  • Junction of Blake Street and Duncombe Place – next to the Visit York building and Grays Solicitors,
  • Duncombe Place Horse and Carriage Bay – on the road leading to the Minster,
  • St Andrewgate – the road leading down the side of Barnitt’s onto King’s Square,
  • St Andrews Place, off St Andrewgate,
  • Deangate – between the Cross Keys and the Minster,
  • Stonebow – outside Calvert’s carpets,
  • St Denys Road – near St Denys’ Church,
  • Cumberland Street – by the York Opera House,
  • Lord Mayor’s Walk – alongside the wall near Monk Bar,
  • St Leonard’s Place – near the De Grey Rooms.

As part of the consultation, the council is also talking to other users of these spaces, including taxi associations, neighbouring businesses and residents.

Council Tax Support Scheme Consultation

Yes Or No Help Sticker by Idil Keysan for iOS & Android | GIPHY

City of York Council is considering updating York’s Council Tax Support Scheme and simplifying the way Council Tax Support is allocated.

They’d like to know your opinion on proposed changes to the Council Tax Support Scheme (CTS).

Currently, every small change to a claimant’s income – and their partner’s income, if they have one – means that their Council Tax Support has to be reassessed, their council tax recalculated and a new bill sent.

Constant changes to a person’s council tax bill can be confusing, make budgeting difficult and can make it harder to know what to pay and to keep up payments.

Please read about and tell us what you think of the proposed changes at

The consultation will run from 1 October – 13 November.

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

York best in sustainability survey

York comes out top in a survey of environmentally friendly town and Cities. The poll was conducted by “music magpie”.

The results can be found by clicking here

York had the joint-highest number of people who shop in zero-plastic supermarkets, with 31 per cent, alongside Birmingham..

A massive 69% claim either recycle or renovate their surplus tech equipment.

Extra points were given for less time spent in showers. This doubtful accolade went to Norwich (where, no doubt, social distancing is easier to enforce).

Points were scored for other factors such as tendency to buy refurbished items, recycling rates and methods of travel 

Second place belonged to Cardiff. Close behind was Oxford, which came third, followed by Plymouth in fourth, and Brighton and Newcastle in joint fifth.

Lowest scoring area was Wolverhamption

Council post COVID opinion survey launched

Our Big Conversation

The York Council has launched a survey which it claims is aimed at finding out residents views on how well the health crisis has been handled and what should happen next.

Some of the questions are a little “leading” and seem to be aimed at getting a pat on the head for decisions already taken.

There is no opportunity to rate controversial schemes like the Bishopthorpe Road closure, reduced car parking provision or restrictions on car access in The Groves area.

The Council also fails to test opinion on emerging issues like anti social behaviour.

Respondents will look in vain for questions about the Councils democratic accountability since it adopted a “behind closed doors” decision making process.

Nor is there any opportunity to comment on the Councils financial strategy (if indeed it now has such a strategy) .

Economic regeneration seems to begin and end with putting restaurant tables onto open spaces.

Details, of what the Council is describing as a “Big Conversation”, can be found by clicking this link

Unfortunately, as with any survey taken against a rapidly changing background, some of the questions already look a little dated.

Haxby station consultation prompts strong sense of déjà vu

The York Council has announced that it is conducting an “on line” consultation on whether (and where) a new railway station should be provided.

It says the short timescale (responses have to be in by 26th May) has been prompted by a request by central government for bids to its “New Station Fund 3”.

Haxby station back on the agenda

The timing is ironic with public transport facing a difficult time as the impact of “social distancing” hits home. Some 90% of bus and rail journeys may be deflected onto other transport modes. Still any new station would take several years to come to fruition so hopefully, by then, public transport will have recovered its popularity.

This will be the fourth attempt to get a new station opened at Haxby. The ambition dates back to the time when the City fell within the boundaries of the North Yorkshire County Council. That authority looked at various possible new station sites with Haxby, Strensall and a halt at the York hospital being the most popular.

The plans always came to nothing for a variety of reasons.

Initially there was confusion about whether the Haxby station was aimed at the “park and rail” (Parkway) market or at local villagers making their way to York, Leeds and beyond. A York rail shuttle service was deemed to be uneconomic, so services would be limited to the Transpennine frequencies.

The “Park and Rail” option proved to be problematic as a site with good road access and a large parking area was required. This might have been found near to the A1237 but that would have meant a hefty hike for those wanting to walk to the location. In the event, road-based park and ride services won the day although a residual fear remains that parking problems might still be caused if a village location attracts car born commuters from the east.

The working assumption is now that the station will be sited where the previous platforms were located (Station Road). One previous consultation in the 90’s also favoured the same location.

It produced an indignant response from one resident who had just purchased a property on Station Road.  He claimed he had no knowledge of any railway in the area much less a railway station. Officials pointed out that there was strong clue in the name of the street that he lived on!

Some favoured taking over the nearby allotments as a car park. This is also the current plan.  

Others were less enthusiastic and pointed out that the old station site was not very central to serve the now much larger Haxby/Wigginton community.

However, the key issue was always one of finance. 

Even the cheapest dual unmanned platform and bus shelter design cost over £1.2 million.  Stopping the transpennine trains would incur a delay and a cost. Any additional refinements, for example, a footbridge or car park would see the capital costs escalate.

 Analysis of transport demand suggested heavy peaks in the morning and evening commuter periods with a much lower demand at other times. Any re-timing of services might cause issues with “path” capacity at York station.

Finally there was a concern that a station could take customers from both stage carriage and park and ride bus services. This could mean less frequent – or possibly no – bus services in the Haxby area.

The survey does not really address many of the traditional barriers to providing a railway station at Haxby. It says nothing about either investment or running costs. It says even less about frequencies or hours of operation.

Without such information, respondents are unable to give an informed reply.

 The survey does, however, ask if respondents are “more or less likely to use public transport as a result of the coronavirus crisis”!

They go on to, rather naively, ask what residents would like to see “which would give them confidence to use public transport again?”

Rather invites the response “a vaccine”?

The survey can be completed by clicking here

Age-friendly York surveys older people’s leisure time

Age-friendly York has launched a new consultation on how older people spend their leisure time in the city and how they’d actually like to spend it.

Your Leisure Time consultation is at  and asks for views on activities and how to find them, volunteering and loneliness. Past surveys have highlighted social isolation is an issue which we’re addressing by providing opportunities to socialise like chatty bench and a chatty café. The survey asks about these initiatives and a shared restaurant table scheme. The questionnaire takes about 10 minutes to complete.

Earlier Age-Friendly surveys held last year were on Your Journey in August and Your Destination in October. Over 200 people took part and provided high-quality information and comments. Among the outcomes, includes a survey of benches in the city, their location, condition and plotting them on a map.

Following an earlier survey in 2017 when 23% of respondents said they experienced loneliness, we and partners developed which now lists some 640 activities, events or volunteering opportunities.

Councillor Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health said: “Being an age-friendly city is a welcome step towards making the city an even better place for older residents.

“Better understanding their preferences or concerns means we can work with partners to address them. We can then build on initiatives like the falls prevention service, or our older people’s accommodation programme to support people to live as independently and as well as possible in later life.

“We know social isolation can be an issue, and this survey will help us understand the barriers people face to socialising, so we can create the right solutions. In the same way, we know accessing community transport at peak times can be difficult, so Age Friendly York is working with the Community Transport Group to find solutions.”

The surveys are open to any older York residents, anyone who works with or cares for older people or those who are planning ahead for older age. Printed copies and large print versions of the consultation are available on request to Please email this address is you’re interested in getting involved in Age Friendly York.

Other consultations planned by Age Friendly York are on Your Access to Information; Your Home and Your Services.

“We want to stay in our home” say York seniors

The Council has released details of responses to a survey of elderly persons needs which it conducted earlier in the year.

Asked where they would like to see out their days, the majority said that they wished to remain in their existing home.

Some said that they would like to move to a smaller property.

There was little enthusiasm for placements in traditional retirement homes.

Most of the 406 respondents were owner occupiers.  The lowest response rate came from the Westfield ward (the City’s poorest) and he highest from the Guildhall Ward

Clearly location is an important factor for many older people. They want to be close to amenities and are increasingly reluctant to drive.

This need conflicts with current Council planning policies which have allocated land near Front Street Acomb – which has a full range of amenities – for family housing.

With developers reluctant to even build elderly persons homes the emphasis should be on providing easy to manage homes at sites like Lowfield, Front Street, Long Close Lane etc.

The report will be discussed next week click

Help us shape our council plan

Residents, businesses and community groups are being asked to comment on how City of York Council can help them achieve the best quality of life in the city.

Highways England have confirmed that the Council is responsible for removing weed growth on former trunk roads like the A59. Hopefully “cleaner” will come before “greener” in the York Councils list of priorities when addressing highway obstructions

Through the council plan consultation, City of York Council is wanting to hear from residents, businesses and community groups and ask them to comment on eight suggested outcomes for the council over the next four years. They are:

  • Good health and wellbeing
  • Well paid jobs and an inclusive economy
  • Getting around sustainably
  • A better start for children and young people
  • A greener and cleaner city
  • Creating homes and world-class infrastructure
  • Safe communities and culture for all
  • An open and effective council.

As well as comment on these themes and what they mean to them, residents, businesses and community groups will also be asked what they think the council could do to achieve the outcomes and what they could do in support.  

The consultation is available to complete now at and closes on Sunday 15 September. 

Residents without online access will also have the chance to contribute their views at venues around the city or add their thoughts to pop-up boards in public spaces or other activities taking place across the city.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said: “Residents, businesses and community groups make York such a fantastic place to live and work. We want to hear from them what we can do to deliver against the suggested outcomes and how they may be able to support this journey to being a cleaner, healthier city with an inclusive economy.”

 “Once complete, this plan will set our ambitious vision for the future of the city and set clear expectations on how we propose to deliver improvements for residents, against which we will monitor delivery and measure performance.

“We look forward to hearing suggestions from people about what our priorities should be.”

Councillor Andy D’Agorne, Deputy Leader of City of York Council said: “The council plan is important so we can clearly set out what we hope to achieve over the course of the next four years. These proposals acknowledge the need for us to address the climate emergency declared by full council and listen to residents’ ideas about what the council should do to address this. We would like to hear what actions individuals, businesses and organisations might take to support this work.

 “As well as climate change, the proposed outcomes also consider a range of social, economic and environmental factors we are keen to prioritise and ensures the city supports a good quality of life for residents.

“We look forward to hearing from residents, businesses and local community groups. We think it is really important they have a chance to discuss and play a part in the work we will be doing over the next four years and want to hear their views and suggestions.”

Getting to know you?

The Council has launched an online survey aimed at finding out how residents want to interface with their local Councillors.

The survey can be found by clicking here

The questions asked are mundane and are unlikely to unlock suggestions for improved communication.  Attitudes seem to be rooted in the 1990s with an inability to supplement the public meeting/ward committee culture.

The survey does ask whether residents would view local Councillors Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter feeds? Most competent and caring Councillors already use these channels albeit with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Some however fail to say where they live and offer no direct telephone contact.

It is ironic that the survey comes at a time when another part of the Council is trying to restrict residents access to information. Its “freedom of information” web page hasn’t been updated since last summer. The Council is removing residents association meeting details for its site and will no longer publicise local events.

The Council has never been good about communicating what is happening in local neighbourhoods particularly as far as spending its budget is concerned.

Some three months after the Council election some residents are still waiting for their first communication from their new representatives. There is a suspicion that some newly elected members were taken by surprise by their own success.  Some Councillors need to put their own house in order before publicly agonising about changes.

More can be done to create a greater sense of community. Councillors should be local “leaders” in this regard. Organising litter picks is one of the survey options offered, but something more is required.

There is no reason why the Council could not host an electronic noticeboard on which residents could pose questions and express views about the local neigbourhood. Councillors could provide answers and offer solutions to problems.

That would at least recognise that – although public meetings might still have a role to play in dealing with major issues – the day to day challenge of keeping public service standards at a satisfactory level requires a little more innovation.

As for local Councillors, they should make sure that they survey residents opinions and priorities on a door by door basisi at least once a year. 

That is the best way of staying in touch.

Some Councillors in the past have surveyed residents views on a regular basis