Major plans to update the entrance to York Station have met with vehement opposition from some travellers.
LNER revealed last month that it wanted to fully enclose the portico using glassed panels, remove the taxi rank and create two new ‘shop pods’ inside.
“The project seeks to reinvigorate the station through improvement to the station entrance, and provide a welcoming environment within the portico as the first impression of those using the station,” say the plans submitted to City of York Council.
But not everyone is impressed. Resident and ‘frequent user’ of the station Steve Westwood has submitted an official objection to the scheme.
“I appreciate the need for alterations to modernise a vital introduction point to the city but do not feel the current proposal is the way,” he writes.
“My view is it makes York Station look like a refurbished Victorian prison.
“It does not appropriately represent the look, the feel, the character or the architecture of what is a nationally recognised monument and a place of increasing strategic importance as the teardrop redevelopment is realised.”
In his comment, Dr Mick Phythian writes: “As the husband of a wheelchair user I object to these plans as they will negatively affect ourselves and other disabled passengers.
“This is because the taxi drop off point will further from the entrance. The Blue Badge parking will also be further from the entrance and whilst it is quite far enough already it is at least undercover (whilst being regularly abused by other drivers and LNER).
“In addition the drop off point will not be undercover.”
The Micklegate Planning Panel support the pedestrianisation of the area, and do not object to the glazing, “although we would recommend, if possible, a more sensitive design”.
But they added: “We strongly object, however, to the inclusion of coffee kiosks as outlined in this application.
“There are already a number of places to buy coffee/food on the station and platforms, most situated in areas that do not restrict the flow of pedestrians.
“To include more in an area that aims to maximise the space available for those visiting the station is shortsighted and seems to contradict the overall aim of the proposed plans for this area.”
Resident Phil Joyce makes a similar point. “I object to the use of any part of this space for commercial use(s).
“It should be a clear area to maximise the comfortable circulation of pedestrians in and passing through the space created.
“Furthermore, the design of the proposed glazing is clumsy and not appropriate for the front facade of the listed building.”
LNER’s plans for York Station will be considered at a meeting of the council planning committee on a date to be fixed.