Anti-terror bollards, barriers and gateways will return to York city centre in the next couple of weeks.
They will be installed at entrances to the footstreet area from 16 November.
The security measures are required again because the terror threat is ‘substantial’, meaning “an attack in the UK is likely,” say North Yorkshire Police.
Widely regarded as bulky and obstructive, the temporary barriers were meant to have been replaced by a permanent solution of static and sliding bollards by now.
Although that plan was announced back in January, in August City of York Council revealed the bollards had doubled in cost to nearly £3.5m and wouldn’t be installed until the New Year.
That means an extra bill of £72,000 for the temporary barriers this Christmas.
Here’s what you need to know:
- The barriers will run from 16 November to 3 January
- Make It York is to see that they are staffed daily from 10am to 7pm for the duration of the Christmas Market from 17 November to 23 December
- Vehicles access to the footstreets will be restricted to before 10.30am and after 7pm from 17 November until 23 December. Outside this period, the regular footstreet hours will revert to 10.30am to 5pm
- Improved access measures are being put in place following problems last year, including additional temporary dropped kerbs by the barriers
- The barriers will allow mobility scooters, wheelchairs and pedestrians through, as well as deliveries by foot and hand carts.
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- York security bollards double in price to £3.5m – and won’t be ready for Christmas
Chief Inspector Chris Brumfitt from North Yorkshire Police, said: “We constantly review our security measures in line with the existing threat level. This is currently at ‘Substantial’, which means an attack in the UK is likely.
“We have seen incidents of hostile vehicle attacks both in the UK and internationally in recent years and we can’t afford to be complacent.
“Like many cities across the UK, we are taking appropriate steps to prepare for events over the festive period. Alongside other activities, the barriers are a proportionate, precautionary measure to help protect the public in areas of high footfall.”
Managing director at Make It York Sarah Loftus said: “The decision to install temporary Counter Terrorism barriers follows consultations between Make It York, City of York Council, Counter Terrorism Police and North Yorkshire Police. These measures are necessary for public safety over the festive season when footfall in our city is high.
“There is a great programme of events across York this year, so it is our utmost priority alongside our partners at City of York Council to ensure that all residents, visitors and traders can enjoy the festivities safely.”
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