New permanent security measures to protect York city centre look set to be installed in 2022.
The city’s temporary security barriers, which were first put in place during the Christmas market in 2019, have been widely condemned as ugly and obstructive.
They were brought in following police and counter terrorism expert advice to combat the threat of ‘vehicle as weapon attacks’, like those seen in Toronto, London and Nice.
The permanent measures will include static bollards, like those installed at Parliament Street prior to the 2019 Christmas market; and sliding bollards to give entry to essential traffic, as well as wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
The sliding bollards are proposed at the junctions of:
- Piccadilly/Coppergate/High Ousegate
- Nessgate/High Ousegate/Low Ousegate
- Lendal/Museum Street
- Blake Street/Duncombe Place
- High Petergate/Duncombe Place
- Goodramgate/ Deangate
- Colliergate/ St Saviourgate
- Shambles/ Pavement.
The locations have been selected to “minimise the impact on nearby businesses, maintain pedestrian access and provide safe space for waiting vehicles as far as possible”, the council says.
A City of York Council spokesperson said: “These permanent measures will see improved safety for all pedestrians, as most vehicle access during footstreet hours will be proposed to be removed.
“In order to follow the police advice in full, only those vehicles essential to safety in the city centre will be granted new, time-limited waivers.”
The plans will be discussed at a meeting of the council executive on Thursday 13 January.
Councillor Andy D’Agorne, deputy leader and executive member for transport, said: “With the national threat level currently severe, our duty and priority has to be the safety of everyone in York.
“These permanent measures will be far less intrusive than the temporary measures we have had to use in recent years. We need to strike the correct balance between providing an appropriate level of security, enabling emergency access and general access outside of the footstreet hours, while also whilst respecting York’s heritage.”
Neighbouring businesses are being alerted to work to dig trial holes and ground investigation. The detailed designs will be finalised once these investigations are complete and businesses will be contacted again.
Executive will be asked for permission to procure contractors to supply, install and maintain the permanent hostile vehicle mitigation measures.
The executive meeting takes place on Thursday 13 January at 5.30pm and will be webcast live. You can read the documents here.