Anti-terrorist bollards have appeared in York city centre – and received a mixed reaction from residents.
The first bollards are now visible on Lendal. They are part of the anti-terror measures voted in by councillors in November 2021.
Controversially, the Liberal Democrat-Green coalition simultaneously oversaw a ban on blue badges being able to park on the city centre footstreets.
The new Labour-run council is committed to overturning the ban while keeping the anti-terrorism measures, which is already causing more controversy.
Work on installing the bollards is currently being carried out in High Petergate and Lendal.
Flick Williams, a disability rights campaigner, tweeted pictures of the measures in Lendal and High Petergate.
Ms Williams, a wheelchair user, said the bollards in Lendal “significantly” reduced the width of the footpath.
She added: “Petergate is even worse than Lendal.
“The stone step makes it impossible to approach these metal stakes straight with a wheeled mobility aid.
“I scraped my rims going through and there are many mobility scooters which just wouldn’t get through.”
Walking past the work in Lendal yesterday (Monday) was Glynis Linfoot, 66.
“Emergency services can’t get in properly,” she said.
“What about in case someone has fallen in the street?”
However, Paul and Elizabeth Kelly, both 71, were less critical.
Mr Kelly said: “As long as blue badge owners are not restricted and it’s going to keep the city safe then I don’t see what’s wrong with it.
“It is a tourist attraction and could be somewhere terrorists would target.”
On whether they were concerned about potentially blocking emergency services, Mr and Mrs Kelly agreed it would be fine as long as the barriers could be moved to allow an ambulance in.
Speaking earlier this month about reversing the blue badge ban, council leader Claire Douglas said: “We’ve had the first conversation about getting that process started and we are looking at the options.
“We’re hoping we’ll be able to start to work with partners straight away, to be honest, because we just cannot continue with people with blue badges not having access to the city that is their home.”
In March, police officers insisted the barriers will keep the city safer.
These bollards will not stop terrorists as the terrorist will just find another way of setting off a device in the city be it by being a suicide bomber or putting the explosives in a rubbish bin and leaving the area before it detonates