Views sought on options to improve Kings Square

30 Jan 2013 @ 3.58 pm
| News

Issued by City of York Council

Residents and visitors are being invited to have their say on proposals to improve and enhance one of York’s most popular city central public spaces.

A public consultation is now underway at and will run between Monday 4 to Monday 25 February, asking for feedback on a number of options to enhance Kings Square.

The improvement works are part of the city central initiative called Reinvigorate York, which launched in September 2011.

Significant improvements have already been made across the inner city centre since the initiative launched with re-paving, removal of railings, bollards and signs, which over the years have created unnecessary and unsightly cluttering of places like Parliament Street, Kings Square, Colliergate, and Duncombe Place/ Museum Street.

Options outlined in the consultation include whether members of the public support or oppose the proposed aspects of the design that will provide more space for pedestrians, increase the performance area (which could be used for buskers), include additional cafe seating at the edges of the central square, remove unnecessary signage and street furniture and as for any other views that could be considered.

In addition to the council’s website, members of the public can provide their views via email: [email protected] or phone: 01904 551550. For further information an exhibition will be held at York Explore Library Learning Centre throughout the duration of the consultation.

Sir Ron Cooke, chair of Reinvigorate York, said: “The quality of York’s inner city public spaces are fundamental to sustaining the city’s present and future prosperity, and it is important to most people who live, work, visit and invest here. We’re already making significant changes and the council’s initiative provides a unique opportunity to reinvigorate the core area, and I encourage as many people as possible to take part in this consultation.”

Councillor Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Planning, Sustainability and Transport at City of York Council, said: “Reinvigorate York will provide a lasting legacy, enhancing the public realm and supporting city centre retailers and attractions. This consultation is about getting the details right for the long term future of this important square.”

The three main objectives of Reinvigorate York remain:

  • To improve the circulation in the city centre (of pedestrians, cars, cyclists and public transport)
  • To restore and enhance the city centre’s public spaces (street furniture, signage, paving, clutter, etc)
  • To achieve other improvements that will help enhance the tourist, retail and cultural experience of visitors, residents and people working in the city centre.

Improvements to public spaces in places like Sheffield, Newcastle and Liverpool are showing that quality of place and a rich diversity of activity in reinvigorated streets and spaces do affect personal and business location decisions. There is a proven economic benefit and improving the physical appearance of the city helps to improve retail and commercial opportunity and activity.

Ensuring better accessibility and improving image and perception are all important to a city’s well-being.

All the information gathered during the consultation, including engagement with local businesses will inform and shape the final design proposals and implementation plan.

This will be considered by Cabinet in April 2013 and if the scheme is agreed it is hoped that improvement works will commence soon after.