Key updates

York’s Bloom! Festival will not go ahead this year – but will be back next summer

Make It York has today announced that Bloom! – York’s festival of horticulture – will not go ahead this summer.

The event was planned to take place across the city from 20-28 June, but has been cancelled due to the escalating uncertainties surrounding the impact of Covid-19.

MD of Make It York Sean Bullick said:

  • It is with deep sadness that we have made this decision, but ultimately it is the right thing to do given the uncertainties that we all face as a result of the ongoing coronavirus situation.

    We have had discussions with our festival main sponsor, York BID and our other valued partners and sponsors across the city and we are all in agreement that this is, unfortunately, a necessary step we must take at this time.

The BID and Make It York are now looking at how to bring Bloom! back in 2021.

Further details will be announced later in the year.

A previous summer event in York – Bloom! 2018. Photograph: Richard McDougall

More cases of coronavirus confirmed in York

The latest official figures show that the number of cases of coronavirus in York has risen again.

As of today (Saturday, 21 March) there are now eight confirmed cases in the city.

That is a rise of two on the figures from yesterday. It means the number has doubled since Wednesday.

Meanwhile the total in North Yorkshire stands at 16 – two more than reported yesterday (Friday).

Nationally the coronavirus death toll in the UK has reached 233 after NHS England said a further 53 people had died in England after testing positive.

It comes as Fiona Phillips, City of York Council Assistant Director for Public Health, shared some advice for people on maintaining your wellbeing.

A woman wears a face mask near Shambles in York last week. Photograph: Richard McDougall

York health group closes two doctors’ surgeries

York Medical Group has updated its working arrangements to adapt to the new circumstances.

It has closed its Water Lane and Woodthorpe surgeries. All doctor’s appointments will be changed to telephone consultations.

All nurse appointments have been cancelled for now. Nurses will contact patients to discuss rebooking appointments.

But it says:

  • If you need same day care our service is still running. Please call as normal and a GP will advise the best course of action.


It is locking the doors at all surgeries – they “will only be opened for those patients that have appointments, this is to keep staff safe so we can keep surgeries working”.

The group asks people not to visit the surgery to drop off a prescription. The advice”

“Please sign up for the NHS App or ring the surgery and verbally sign up for online services via the query lines.

“If you cannot access these services please can you post your prescription to the surgery.”

Full details on the York Medical Group website.

York Medical Group's Monkgate surgery is still open. Photograph: yorkmedicalgroup.co.uk

York council issues statement on school closures

City of York Council have just issued this statement following the school closures announcement today:

City of York Council would like to reassure schools, early years and childcare providers, parents, carers and families that it’s continuing to support all education settings following today’s government announcement that schools and early years’ settings in England will be closing as of Friday afternoon until further notice.

The council is currently working through the details of today’s government announcement, particularly how we support schools to provide education settings to vulnerable young people and children of key workers. We continue to look further at how we can continue to support schools to provide children and young people with learning and development opportunities throughout this difficult time.


Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:

  • We understand this is an incredibly difficult time for all schools, early years and childcare providers, parents, carers and families.

    Throughout the outbreak, we have been communicating and working with all education settings to keep them updated and help them prepare as best as they can.

    The council will work through the detail of the government’s announcement immediately. Making sure support is in place for children and families in the coming days in our priority and this includes exploring how we support the provision of free meals too.

For more information on school closures visit york.gov.uk/schoolclosures.

For more details about coronavirus visit york.gov.uk/coronavirus

Inside Huntington School. Photograph: school website

Bridge cleared after rush hour accident

The three-vehicle collision on Clifton Bridge is now clear.

Police and ambulance crews went to the accident, which was reported at 7.50am. It was described by police as “very minor”.

The scene was clear by 8.35pm.

York crews tackle three fires and one water leak overnight

Fire crews from York were called out to four incidents overnight.

At 5.33pm a York crew went to a report of water leaking from a first floor flat in Bootham and into a commercial property below.

They entered the flat through an unlocked window and isolated the leak on a shower unit.

At 9.05pm a Huntington crew put out a fire in a large metal wheelie bin on Huntington Road. It is believed to have been started deliberately by youths.

A few minutes later at 9.14pm, crews from York and Acomb were alerted to a fire in a home on Farrar Street.

It was in the fuse cupboard, and caused fire, heat and smoke damage. Firefighters carried out an inspection and left the incident in the hands of the landlord and Northern Powergrid.

And at 11.07pm a crew from Acomb responded to a smoke alarm going off in a commercial property at Tockwith west of York.

On arrival they discovered a fire in a commercial kiln, which resulted in damage to wooden staging. They put out the fire. The cause is believed to be accidental.

Library photograph: YorkMix

Accident on York bridge causing delays

Reports are coming in of a crash on Clifton Bridge in York.

York Travel tweeted at 7.57am:

  • Reports of a road traffic collision on Clifton Bridge, queuing traffic both ways.

It is understood three vehicles are involved in the collision.

Traffic is building up in the Water End area and people are being asked to take alternative routes.

Police warn fraudsters are exploiting coronavirus to scam money

Fraudsters are exploit coronavirus concerns to con people from their money, North Yorkshire Police has warned.

The force wants people to be aware that these scams are on the rise.

Since February 2020, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified 21 reports of fraud where coronavirus was mentioned in Britain, with victim losses totalling over £800k.

Ten of these reports were made by victims that attempted to purchase protective face masks from fraudulent sellers.

Fraudsters are also sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails in an attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive personal and financial details.

Fraudsters, purporting to be from legitimate organisations affiliated with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation (WHO), are contacting potential victims over email.

They claim to be able to provide the recipient with a list of coronavirus infected people in their area. In order to access this information, the victim needs to click on a link, which leads to a malicious website, or is asked to make a payment in Bitcoin

Firefighters work with paramedics after two elderly people collapse

Shortly after midnight this morning (Monday) firefighters were called out to assist an ambulance crew to help two elderly people in distress.

A fire crew from Acomb were called out to gain access to a property on Langholme Drive in York to treat the two occupants who had collapsed.

They used specialist tools to enter the house, enabling the medics to treat the couple.

Family of river victim fear he might have been murdered

The family of Joe Rainham, whose body was recovered from the River Ouse in October, have voiced their fears that he might have been murdered.

His brother Brighton and aunt Media have spoken to the York Press about their concerns over how he died.

Joe, a chef from Wilton Rise, was 33 when he died. Family members are convinced that his body was dumped in the river after he had died elsewhere after suffering from foul play.

Media told the Press:

  • If he had suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of the shock from falling into the river, he would have ingested water. Therefore, he must have suffered the arrest previously – unless it happened on the bank and he then fell in.

    But he was fit and healthy, and he hated water and never went near the river.”

They are campaigning for an inquest into his death. The coroner has said a decision about that would be made this week.

Dame Judi Dench Walk was sealed off as emergency services recovered Joe Rainham's body. Photograph: Richard McDougall

Car hits a wall in York

A car left a busy junction and hit a wall in York today (Sunday).

It happened on Clifton Green at about 2.30pm.

Police and fire crews from Acomb and York stations attended the crash, which involved only one car.

No one was trapped or injured. But the accident did cause traffic delays for a while.

Clifton Green in York. Photograph © Google Street View

Shared Earth sales up despite poor weather

Shared Earth sales are up – despite the challenges of the weather.

According to a report in The Parliamentary Review, the Fair Trade company’s premises in York have been affected by floods caused by the recent storms.

Nevertheless its sales increased by 50 per cent for the 11 months of the year ending March 31 2020, according to Shared Earth managing director, Jeremy Piercy.

He told The Parliamentary Review:

  • This growth follows an average 30 per cent increase in sales every year for the last six years, confirming the huge trend towards eco products in particular and the fast-growing awareness of the climate crisis.

    The big increase in sales this year, when many other gift businesses are struggling, reflects the surge in awareness [of climate change] in the last year alone.

Shared Earth on Minster Gates. Photograph © Google Street View

Police disperse youths after anti-social behaviour

Police have called on parents to keep tabs on what their children are doing after anti-social behaviour in Acomb.

The York South Twitter channel revealed that they had issued a ‘direction to disperse’ to youths in Front Street after reports of bad behaviour last night (Tuesday).

Officers tweeted:

  • PARENTS if you believe your children are in the area of Front Street and Foxwood please ring them and ask what they are doing.

    It’s not just our responsibility!

Crews tackle car fire on the A64

Fire crews from Acomb and York were called out last night to a car on fire off the A64.

It happened at about 7.45pm on a slip road leading to the A64 at Copmanthorpe.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire. The cause is believed to be an electrical fault.

Police appeal after man, 22, dies in Sherburn in Elmet collision

Police are appealing for witnesses and dash-cam footage after a 22-year-old man died in a collision near Sherburn-in-Elmet.

It happened on at about 9.15pm on Sunday (1 March) when a red Mini Cooper travelling along Fenton Lane towards Church Fenton, left the road and came to rest in a field.

The driver and sole occupant of the car, a 22-year-old man from the Tadcaster area, sustained serious injuries and was taken to Leeds General Infirmary, where he sadly died.

Anyone who saw the Mini travelling along Fenton Lane, or saw the vehicle leave the road, including any dash-cam footage, is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for Traffic Constable Michael Rowan or email [email protected].

Please quote incident number 12200036516 when calling.

Roadworks start on Fishergate and Castle Mills Bridge

Castle Mills Bridge
Five weeks of disruption start today as roadworks are brought in on Castle Mills Bridge.

The bridge will be down to one lane in both directions to allow for the work, which includes repairs and maintenance.

These restrictions are in place around the clock, and are expected to cause delays.

Bus catches fire in York

A bus caught fire on Tadcaster Road in York this morning.

The fire in the engine compartment had spread to the passenger area.

Fire crews from York and Acomb were called out at 9.38am. The fire was out when they arrived, and the driver and passengers were safely off the bus.

Serious accident closes the A19 at York

Police, fire and ambulance crews are at an accident that has closed the A19 near York.

The crash took place near the Mercure York Fairfield Manor Hotel on Shipton Road. Reports say an HGV has collided with a car.

Fire crews are using cutting gear to rescue a female passenger.

Police are asking motorists to avoid the area, and buses are being diverted:

Photograph: Lewis Clarke on Geograph