Council chiefs vowed to “vociferously chase” the insurance company of the HGV driver who knocked over an historic lamp post – as they agreed to spend £33,000 repairing it.
Repairing the lamp column between High Petergate and Minster Gates will cost more than three times what it would cost to replace it with a steel lamp post.
But Cllr Andy D’Agorne, executive member for transport, said it was important to preserve the city’s heritage.
However, Cllr Mark Warters said the repair had only been made more costly because a council operative cut the post into smaller pieces when retrieving it after it was knocked down in March.
The cast iron lamp post, thought to be 120 years’ old, is believed to be the last of its kind in the city.
Andrew Morrison, chief executive of York Civic Trust, said: “It’s a unique piece of industrial heritage in the city.
“As the city becomes more genteel and gentrified that heritage is being lost, so to put that lamppost back, fully repaired, would be a really important thing to do.”
Mr Morrison said his organisation would be prepared to help the council meet the cost difference “as a funder of last resort”, either through their own reserves or by launching a crowdfunding campaign, if the insurance claim falls short.
“We think the lamppost is that important,” he added.
Director of transport, environment and planning, James Gilchrist, said: “The insurance case will take some time to settle.
“The council will vociferously chase the insurance company for the full cost of repair.”
Cllr D’Agorne added: “It is somewhat ironic that the unique nature of this lamp has not been more widely recognised until now.
“Clearly it’s important to balance heritage with cost and safety for the general public.”