The new leader of York council is urging the National Railway Museum to be more focused on the needs of residents – after she was met with a ‘steel door of no compromise’ from the attraction.
Claire Douglas said she wants further conversations with the Leeman Road attraction over its hugely controversial walkway agreement.
The NRM plans to build a new Central Hall across Leeman Road. The walkway agreement between the museum and the council will dictate how people are able to get through the museum to the station and city centre if that happens.
City of York Council leader Cllr Douglas told YorkMix: “The walkway agreement is not to the benefit of the Leeman Road community.
“Pete Kilbane and myself and ward councillors have met with the National Railway Museum in the past to try and get a better deal, more access for residents, a more direct route through the NRM for residents.
“But unfortunately, we were met with an absolute steel door of no compromise on that.
“And I think that’s a real shame, because in my view, that first step of the York Central project has given an indication to surrounding communities of what they might expect to come. And it’s not set a good tone.”
Ward councillors have described the walkway agreement as ‘so one-sided it’s scandalous‘. It allows the museum to close the walkway to residents on multiple occasions a year, for things like events and ‘special guests’.
Cllr Douglas said the issue was not closed.
“We will be talking to them in the not too distant future at all about this,” she said.
Other partners in the wider York Central development project could see how the situation had impacted the local community, Cllr Douglas said. She wants “to work positively with the NRM so that they achieve what they want to achieve, but also bring their local communities with them”.
She added: “We wish that they were more resident focused and community focused.
“They are a part of York. They’re a big important part of York and so many York residents absolutely loved the NRM.
“All of us have taken visitors, their families there, and they’re a huge part of our community.
“But we think that they need to reflect that back into the local communities that live around them now as far as the walkway agreement’s concerned.”
As we always do on this topic, we asked the National Railway Museum to comment. As the museum has always done, it has declined to comment.
[tptn_list limit=3 daily=1 hour_range=1]