Spaces to be removed from York car park to allow for social distancing

The number of parking spaces at a city centre car park is to be reduced, to make more space for pedestrians and cyclists.

But some businesses have worries about the change – saying it comes at a time when more shoppers and workers will need to drive into the city centre instead of using public transport.

Part of Marygate Car Park will be coned off to give walkers and cyclists more space to get to and from Scarborough Bridge.

A council report says the lane between Scarborough Bridge and Bootham Terrace running alongside the railway line and the car park is too narrow for people to pass each other while social distancing.

The measures would be temporary.

A ‘quick win’

The plan

The council will take the parking bays alongside the path out of action – putting up cones to create a wider route to the bridge.

About 50 of the car park’s 350 spaces will be out of use.

Sections of the low barrier – the bird’s mouth fence – alongside the spaces will be removed every 20m to allow walkers to pass each other.

Signs will be put up at either end of the car park.

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, executive member for transport, said a resident contacted him to ask if more space could be created.

“It was a simple quick win to aid social distancing and make it safer and more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists to use,” he said.

Need to be reviewed

But Phil Pinder, chair of York Retail Forum, said more people will be travelling by car as public transport has limited space due to social distancing.

He asked if an option which did not remove so many parking spaces could have been considered, as shops prepare to reopen and businesses hope the number of residents visiting the city increases.

The council report says: “Car parking levels are currently relatively low and the removal of the approximately 50 spaces is unlikely to impact on parking income.

“This would need to be reviewed as lockdown eases. The measures are likely to cost under £1,000.”