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Reinvigorate York: Improving York’s city centre

Friday 24th January 2014

Walking, Cycling, Buses, Leisure and Shopping, Visiting York

City of York Council has today unveiled the latest Reinvigorate York schemes that will improve the quality of key public spaces in the city centre.

Plans to improve Exhibition Square, Fossgate and the Duncombe Place/Blake Street junction will all go out to consultation this week. Every household in the city has been sent a leaflet outlining the details of the four-week consultation as well as an update on the Lendal Bridge traffic trial.

The consultation provides a number of ways for people to have their say between Friday 24th January and Friday 21st February. Residents and businesses can give feedback via the online survey at; printed copies are available in the council’s West Offices and at libraries across the city.

Staffed consultation events will also take place on the dates below, with the first event taking place during the annual Residents’ First Weekend:

  • Saturday 25 January, 10am - 4pm in the council’s exhibition unit at St Sampson’s Square
  • Monday 3 February, 6pm - 8pm at the Guildhall Resident Forum at the Friends Meeting House in Friargate
  • Wednesday 5 February, 10am - 4pm at City of York Council’s West Offices on Station Rise
  • Tuesday 11 February, 10am - 4pm in the council’s exhibition unit at St Sampson’s Square

Duncombe Place

The leaflet also provides an update on the Lendal Bridge traffic trial. The impact of the trial from the interim data and feedback from the bus companies shows significant improvements on bus reliability on routes crossing the bridge. Whilst some areas have seen an increase in traffic levels, overall the network is coping with the changes in line with original forecasts.

When the formal trial finishes on 26th February, the bridge restriction will remain in place until evidence is presented to the council's Cabinet in spring to help them decide whether the restriction should become permanent. There is still time to comment on the trial by completing the online surveys at  Printed copies are available at libraries and the council’s West Offices. Alternatively, you can leave your feedback by emailing us.

Sir Ron Cooke, chair of Reinvigorate York, said: “The quality of York’s inner city public spaces are fundamental to sustaining the city’s present and future prosperity, and it is important to most people who live, work, visit and invest here. But spaces in the city centre are looking tired and shabby in places, and need urgent attention. We’re already making significant changes and the council’s initiative provides a unique opportunity to reinvigorate the core area, and I am pleased to help in achieving this very laudable aim.”

Councillor Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Planning, Sustainability and Transport at City of York Council, said: “Reinvigorate York is providing a lasting legacy, improving public spaces, reducing the impact of traffic and supporting city centre retailers. We encourage everyone to let us know their thoughts during the consultation to enable us to feed this into the final proposals. These proposals are part of a continuing range of initiatives to improve the city centre such as the ongoing King’s Square revamp and Lendal Bridge traffic trial, which aim to achieve a more confident vision for the economic future success of our city centre.”
The council plans to carry out six Reinvigorate York projects over the next few years.

Phase one at King’s Square is complete and the second phase will take place in March to resurface the highway area in natural stone setts and refurbish the raised area, which is likely to include built-in seating and relaying the gravestones .

The project to revamp Exhibition Square is linked to the Theatre Bus Interchange scheme, which aims to improve facilities for bus users as part of the  £3.5 million Government Better Bus Area Fund (BBAF) awarded to the council in 2012.

Projects to improve Micklegate and the junction of Parliament Street with Coppergate and Piccadilly will follow later.
The three main objectives of Reinvigorate York remain:

  • To improve the circulation in the city centre (of pedestrians, cars, cyclists and public transport)
  • To restore and enhance the city centre’s public spaces (street furniture, signage, paving, clutter, etc)
  • To achieve other improvements that will help enhance the tourist, retail and cultural experience of visitors, residents and people working in the city centre.