A new square, a hidden section of the city walls revealed and a bridge demolished – these are the bold plans for a remodelled York Station.
Plans to overhaul the station’s entrance have been unveiled – and the council wants your views.
Queen Street bridge will be torn down, the taxi rank and car parking reorganised, a new “Station Square” created and Tea Room square pedestrianised.
At the same time, currently hidden parts of the city walls could be revealed and the area around York Railway Institute (RI) improved – although the RI stands to lose its band room.
The proposals have been revealed as the city council starts a public consultation asking people to give their views over the next four weeks.
Three-fold passenger increase
Cllr Peter Dew, York’s executive member for transport, said the changes were needed both for current passengers – and to cope with a much busier future.
“Travelling to and from the station is a far from ideal experience, whichever mode of transport you use,” he said
“We now have a fantastic opportunity to make it much easier to use, especially with the station set for a three-fold increase in passenger numbers over the next 30 years.”
The proposals build on what people have said previous consultations, he added, and would link up with plans for York Central, and the improved pedestrian and cycle route over Scarborough Bridge.
Much better gateway
The city council has revealed it is working with Network Rail, the Intercity East Coast Mainline franchise and engineering and design consultancy Arup to develop this master plan, and is getting ready to make a planning application for the first phase of works.
Deputy council leader Cllr Andrew Waller said residents and visitors “deserve a much better gateway to the city” than the current congestion.
“Transforming the area in front of railway station is integral to making it fit for the 21st century, and much more in tune with sustainable ways of getting around,” he added.
“It plays a vital role connecting the station to the city centre, and surrounding communities to one of Europe’s largest city-centre sustainable developments York Central.”
Many of the proposals, including Queen Street Bridge’s demolition, have already been mooted through plans York Central plans – the redevelopment of 45 hectares of former railway land. That project could also bring a revamp for the other entrance to the station with new parking and drop-off areas.
York railway station was the largest in the world when it opened in 1877, and a council spokesman said the new plans should make sure it “reflects both York’s stunning heritage and its bright future”.
Queen Street Bridge – set for demolition – has been redundant since the 1960s when trains stopped using lines under the city walls to the old railway station – now City of York Council’s West Offices.
The new project will be funded by the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal, a council spokesman added.
The consultation is open until Monday, July 9 and information is online here and in displays at railway station, next to Platforms 1 and 3, and in the council’s West Offices.
There will also be opportunities to discuss the proposals with the project team, and a walking heritage tour of the station organised by York Civic Trust – book via the Eventbrite page.