One end of Shambles that was closed to pedestrians has reopened – after the closure was deemed a safety risk.
As predicted by some of the traders on York’s most famous street, pedestrians were cutting through the St Crux churchyard after the Pavement end was shut to all.
YorkMix witnessed a number of people clambering up and down the 2½ft wall around St Crux to get access to and from Shambles, as our video shows.
There were also reports of wheelchair users being unable to turn round unassisted once they reached the barriers on Shambles.
The closure was to facilitate the installation of anti-terror bollards.
YorkMix understands that an official with a responsibility for safe highways at City of York Council visited the site and deemed the arrangements unsafe late this morning.
He ordered that the work be stopped and one pavement reopened.
So within four hours of the closure of the Pavement end of Shambles it was reopened.
Shambles’ traders had asked for this all along.
Phil Pinder, of the Shambles Area Traders’ Association, described the turnaround as “staggering”.
“What we’ve asked for all along is that the work could be done so pedestrian access can be maintained,” he told YorkMix.
“Some very nice chaps from York council turned up from the highways team who deemed the work was unsafe by bottlenecking people into a street – almost like somebody suggested; don’t know who that was…
“Then, miraculously, they’ve moved the barriers back so one side of the Shambles is reopened and people don’t have to clamber over a 3ft wall and endanger themselves.
“This is what we asked for all along. And if it stays like this, then I don’t see an issue.”
Phil said he just wished the council had listened to traders earlier.
“There wouldn’t have been the aggro, there would have been no need to engage lawyers, and we’d have had access all along.”
YorkMix has asked City of York Council for more details about the reopening of Shambles and will update when their response comes through.