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Reinvigorate York strategy reviews York’s streets and spaces

A new strategy which aims to make York a fully accessible city is now open for public consultation until Wed 31st July.

Through the City of York Council’s Reinvigorate York initiative, the draft Streetscape Strategy and Guidance document reviews York’s street and space character and proposes new guidance to enhance and manage the city including de-cluttering, public seating, street performers, pavement obstacles such as A-boards and surface materials.

The draft strategy supports the main objectives of Reinvigorate York to increase footfall in the city centre, improve the overall quality of life for residents, increase the sense of York as a special place and maintain York as a top tourist destination.

Sir Ron Cooke, Chair of Reinvigorate York, said: “York’s most valuable asset is its outstanding, internationally important heritage. The quality of the streetscape in the city centre is an essential ingredient of this resource. The city centre attracts over 7 million visitors a year, multitudes of local and distant shoppers, and over a quarter of the working population uses it daily. It is one of the main ways the city attracts entrepreneurs, investors, employees and students. Its future vitality depends substantially on how it is used, cherished and maintained.”

Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Planning, Transport and Sustainability, said: “Our Reinvigorate York initiative is designed to make the most of York’s tremendous heritage and strengthen the city centre economy, recognising that there has been some deterioration of the streetscape.

“This is the city’s proposal for ensuring the quality of our diverse streets and spaces is well managed and provides a lasting legacy. It will be an indispensable baseline for future work in the city and extended in the future to address more fully the whole urban area.”

The key aims of the five part strategy are to:

  • provide an historical overview of York’s streets and spaces
  • define seven strategic principles.
  • look at setting priorities based on an analysis of pedestrian movement such as the city centre footstreets and suburban shopping streets.
  • provide guidance on street furniture, surfacing, signs and transport.
  • ensure, where repairs are carried out as part of the council’s wider repair and maintenance programme, that there is no conflict with the principles and guidance.
  • that contractors and others implement their work to standards set by the council through agreed approaches.

Following an independent Access and Mobility Audit, which was recently carried out for the council by the Centre for Accessible Environments, a number of measures were recommended and fed into the strategy and guidance document.

City of York Council was praised by the Government for taking action to reduce unnecessary traffic signs in the city earlier this year.

In January, the Secretary of State of Transport, The Rt. Hon. Patrick McLoughlin, wrote to all traffic authorities and cited York as a good example of an authority which was already taking action to reduce sign clutter.

To take part in the consultation please visit www.york.gov.uk/streetscapestrategy,
email community.planning@york.gov.uk or call 01904 551329.

For more information on Reinvigorate York please visit www.york.gov.uk/reinvigorateyork