Are incentives to come to York needed?

A quiet day today in York City centre with locals enjoying the fine weather.

More seating is now available in Parliament Street and this is proving to be popular.

A £60,000 campaign to bring “staycation” visitors to York has also been announced, while the Council has launched a range of transport incentives (see below).

The further easing of restrictions scheduled for Monday may, however, brings its own challenges, with pent up demand likely to test compacity at a time when coronavirus is still prevalent, particularly among younger age groups.

New travel incentives announced

City of York Council have announced a range of parking and travel incentives to encourage residents and visitors back to the city centre to support the city’s ongoing economic recovery.

New offers include a discounted resident’s Minster Badge for city centre parking, as well as a 50% off All York Family Ticket to launch as step three of the government’s Road Map is rolled out next week, from17 May 2021.

Half Price All York Family Ticket

The announcement includes a 50% discount for residents and visitors off the All York Family Ticket. The All York Family Ticket allows unlimited travel for the day, on all bus operators in York, including Park & Ride (excluding tourist and event services such as City Sightseeing and race day shuttles) for 2 adults and up to 3 children.  It normally costs £11, but will be discounted to £5.50 under the offer.

Tickets can be bought at the discounted price from 17 May 2021.

With well-established hygiene practices on-board and the maintenance of low COVID-19 cases numbers across York, now is a great time to enjoy the convenience and sustainability of York public transport network. Please follow the on-board guidance and remember hands, face, space when travelling.

Find out more on the iTravel website at

Minster Badge Discount

Residents will be able to apply for a £10 Minster Badge up until  the end of March 2022 that lasts for 2 years. The badge gives residents discounts on parking in council car parks and on-street parking bays. The badge also entitles holders to park for free after 5pm in most council car parks – perfect for evening shopping or to enjoy the many excellent hospitality businesses across the city.

Minster Badges can be bought at the discounted price from 17 May 2021.

The discount will come into play as part of the next stage of lockdown restriction easing, at step three of the government’s Road Map.

To find out more visit:

TIER E-Scooter and E-Bikes

With an expanded range of electric vehicles to hire across the city, residents and visitors can enjoy TIER’s e-scooters and now e-bikes from almost 40 parking bays across the city.

TIER currently have an active code that enables 5 free unlocks for users of the app: TIERXYORK

Find out more on the iTravel website at

Download the app to ride today at

Any questions? Feel free to reach out to the TIER team on  +44 151 3174276 or

Bleak and quiet in York today

A combination of wet weather and COVID restrictions has meant that York has been quiet once again today.

This may be the last weekend opportunity for a while for traders to attract customers. The prospect of another national lockdown becomes more likely.

Lets hope for a more considered approach by the authorities as they seek to address the effects of the second wave. We don’t need any more poorly considered road and car park closures.

Swinegate deserted at noon today
The river Ouse water level is high but not yet threatening properties

York visitor numbers increasing

The latest footfall camera figures for central York confirm that visitor numbers are steadily increasing.

By the third week in August they had reached over 80% of the figures seen during the equivalent period last year.

The figures for the bank holiday are not yet available but it did appear to be busy in the City last weekend.

Comparisons of numbers for the weekends in the earlier part of the month suggest a slower recovery. This may be due to more people visiting the City during the week as they make the most of the school holidays.

The difficulties in arranging foreign holidays may also have given the City a boost.

Weekend footfall

There is still some way to go to achieve pre COVID numbers with some traders still suffering from the lack of office workers in the City centre.

Still the resurgence – which is born out by the numbers using the City’s car parks – is probably stronger and quicker than many might have predicted.

NB. Figures from some footfall cameras are unreliable and have been excluded for this analysis.

Busier in York today

A lot more visitors to York City centre today. Most of the car parks used by shoppers were full.

Never been a more important time for the Council to get its car park space availability advance signs working again. Same for variable message signs.
Nunnery Lane car park full
Half a dozen unoccupied disabled spaces at Nunnery Lane
Reason why some people don’t cycle into York? Bike -or most of it – may have gone by the time you return
Castle car park – York’s most popular with shoppers – full today. This is the car park that some Councillors wish to close.
Peel Street car park full. This is the privately owned car park which is offering free parking in conjunction with some City centre traders. Seems to be very successful
College Street attractions proving to be popular. Possible scope for something similar in the Duncombe Place/Deans Park area?
More people in Parliament Street but the space is still underused.
Improving footfall on Fossgate with a coupe of restaurants serving from outside tables.
Goodramgate foot street also well used today
People even queuing to get into Spark! Council may be hoping for a rent payment?
Monk Bar general spaces 95% occupied. Unfortunately, once again, only four of the 40 spaces reserved for blue badge holders were in use. Needs an early policy review.
Most embarrassing gaff by the Council is the – largely unused – cycling lane in the Marygate car park. The rest of the car park was full today. The car park is popular with shoppers and uses the “pay on exit” system. The parking spaces could be reinstated and cyclists could choose to use the service road if they wish.
The Esplanade short stay car park was at 80% of its capacity today.
Lots of space at the railway station car park. Suspect that LNER may have missed an opportunity here.?

York getting a little busier?

Few more on Spurriergate today
Museum Gardens – with social distancing well organised by Museum staff – was popular today
Marygate car park close to capacity today apart from the completely useless coned off area. Not being used by anyone for social distancing. Meanwhile, at the other end of the Scarborough bridge cycle link to the station, cyclists wanting access the exit towards Holgate Road, have to dismount and walk through the congested portico or bus stop areas.
Cycle parking still poor in York. These were chained to railings today. They had enforcement notices attached but, given the large sums of taxpayers money being thrown at some peoples idea of “sustainable transport”, installing a few extra parking frames (Sheffield stands) wouldn’t be amiss.
The York Council offices are still closed. The gates are padlocked. Given the new government advice about “getting back to work” there should now be a road-map leading to the reopening of services where customers need personal contact.
No information, forward plans or meeting agendas on Council, noticeboards. This one, outside West Offices, simply says that meetings are cancelled “until 30th May”.
No noticeboards at all now outside the Guildhall. Although the building itself is closed for refurbishment, the noticeboards, previously displayed there, provided an easy, accessible location where residents could read about what the Council planned to consider. (Very few people routinely walk past the small noticeboard outside West Offices)

Coronavirus York updates; 4th July 2020

Deaths and test results

There have been no further deaths at York Trust hospitals The total (3/7/20) remains at 214. The last death was recorded on 18th June.

The cumulative total of positive test results (public + private centres) remains at 898 (2/7/20).

Modest increase in visitor numbers today

There appears to have been a small increase in the numbers of people on City centre streets today compared to last Saturday. Some pubs have opened and there are outside cafe tables available on Parliament Street. Most visitors seem to be adopting a cautious approach and are observing social distancing requests. Few are wearing face masks.

There has been come criticism of the Councils “2 hours of free parking” initiative which one trader described as impenetrably complex. The deal doesn’t apply to the main shopper car parks like Castle and Marygate.

Births, deaths and marriages

York Council announces changes at York Register Office and York Crematorium

In line with the easing of government restrictions from 4 July, York Register Office will reopen for weddings and civil partnerships and the Crematorium will welcome more people from this weekend.

Since government restrictions were imposed in March, the council has regularly kept how services at the crematorium can continue under review, with the health and safety of mourners, funeral directors and staff our priority.

Recent government advice means that we are delighted that weddings are able to resume from 4 July the council has been working on plans so that the Register Office can safely hold marriages.

York Crematorium

As part of the updated government advice and taking into account social distancing measures required as well as the ever-present risks relating to the spread of Coronavirus, the Crematorium can now welcome up to eighteen people excluding the funeral director and clergy or celebrant in the main crematorium chapel.

Due to the size of the small chapel and the need to maintain social distancing, the number in the small chapel is being kept at five.

Numerous safety measures remain in place.

The council will also be working with funeral directors and staff to review how the changes to the 2m rule may work in practice to potentially allow higher numbers of mourners to attend. 

Once the restrictions have been fully lifted, the council will ensure that services of remembrance at York Crematorium will be offered to all families and a city-wide multi-faith remembrance ceremony will be held, supported by local faith leaders and the Council.

York Minster has also confirmed that a special memorial service to comfort relatives and friends bereaved during the Coronavirus pandemic will take place at the Minster, when such events can take place.

York Register Office

Weddings are returning to York Register Office this weekend.

Initially the Register Office have and will sort bookings for those who booked a wedding or civil partnership before the pandemic struck and will be in touch with all couples to offer them the opportunity to get married.

As with other Register Offices in the region that are able to reopen and in line with government advice, the council is maintaining the 2m social distancing. This means initially 8 guests (excluding the couple and officiants) will be allowed in the large room in use, in addition to the small witness only weddings which remain as two witnesses only as normal.

While it is not possible to safely accommodate higher numbers at the register office the council is actively seeking alternative venues that would allow 30 people to attend and will make further announcements should this be possible.

Six weddings are booked for this weekend and we hope the couples have a fantastic day and happy marriage.

City centre economy facing a challenge

City centre traders are likely to be looking with concern at the numbers of people who are visiting the City centre. New footfall figures have been published.

The figures suggest that visitor numbers to the City may have plateaued.

Parliament Street less busy this year?

Long periods of hot weather haven’t, in the past, been good for York with some tourists preferring to visit coastal areas.

This years weather has been mixed.

Special attractions like the Rose Theatre, although generally successful, are not sold out while interest in events like the current “Great Yorkshire Fringe” are at best comparable with last year.

During June several York streets saw a 10% drop in visitor numbers in 2019 compared to the same month in 2018.

Early figures for July in Parliament Street suggest a 4% drop in visitor numbers during July.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the number of empty shops on Coney Street, that area has seen visitor numbers drop from 812,808 in June 2017 to 713,762 in June of this year.

There is no shortage of excellent Festivals in York while the work of the BID has seen several parts of the city centre tidied up.

The most important time for many City centre traders is the period between now and Christmas.

Lets hope that the City continues to be “best day out” in the region

Gradual decline in visitor numbers to Parliament Street.
Smaller shopping streets are doing better with visitor numbers to Stonegate stable and numbers in Micklegate increasing.

York’s newly restored Mansion House attracts 1000 visitors

Visitors have flocked to see inside York’s newly restored Mansion House after it opened its doors for the first time last weekend [2-3 December].

Over 1,000 people visited the house following a £2.6m restoration project to make the history of the Mansion House even more accessible to York residents and visitors.

The house will now be open every day [except Mondays and Tuesdays] until Saturday 23 December, giving people more opportunities to see the house fully dressed for Christmas, complete with decorative garlands and a 10ft Christmas tree.

Councillor Keith Orrell, Interim Executive Member for Economic Development and Community Engagement, City of York Council, said: “York Mansion House really comes into its own at this time of year and the house looks really beautiful dressed for Christmas. I hope that local residents will take the opportunity to see for themselves the marvellous retoration work – the biggest since the house was finished in 1732 – and find out more about the unique history of York’s Mansion House than ever before.”

The resoration includes a new-look exterior, with a brick-coloured facade and a polychrome crest – a colour scheme voted for by York residents in 2016 – and thought to be similar to how the Manison House would have looked in the 1890s. (more…)