A £2.2 MILLION new look for a York square, a city-centre junction and one of its shopping streets has been unveiled.

The three projects in Exhibition Square, Fossgate and at the junction of Duncombe Place and Blake Street will be the next stage of City of York Council’s Reinvigorate York facelift scheme, and will create more space for pedestrians.

The plans would mean bus changes in Exhibition Square, with a single lane for services, changes to bus stops, a new shelter with information screens and only one stand for tour buses, while some service times may alter.

Part of the square would be repaved, with the work estimated to cost £1 million.

Footpaths at Duncombe Place/Blake Street would be widened and the traffic island removed, with the road being raised to slow traffic down. Pedestrian crossings would be improved, more cycle stands installed and the mouth of St Leonard’s Place narrowed at a total cost of £875,000.

Fossgate would have wider pavements with seats, new cycle-parking and changes to its Pavement entrance through a £345,000 scheme, with the aim of making it a daytime footstreet.

A four-week consultation on the proposals begins today.

Previous Reinvigorate York work has included a revamp of King’s Square. Its road will be resurfaced and the square refurbished through further work starting in March. Future phases will focus on Micklegate and the Parliament Street/Piccadilly/Coppergate junction.

The council says the fountain and statue of artist William Etty are a “major challenge” to improving Exhibition Square, as conservation experts feel they should be separated to stop water splashing and eroding the statue.

The council has said the fountain blocks pedestrians and limits use of the square, which has been branded “poor and deteriorating”.

The scheme will run alongside the Theatre Bus Interchange project to improve bus facilities through the council’s £3.5 million allocation from the Better Bus Area Fund.

Reinvigorate York chairman Sir Ron Cooke has said some of York’s public spaces have become “tired and shabby” and need urgent attention.

He said this was “a unique opportunity to reinvigorate the core area.”

Coun Dave Merrett, council cabinet member for planning, said Reinvigorate York was intended to have “a lasting legacy” which would help businesses and cut city-centre traffic, and outline “a more confident vision” for York.

The consultation runs until February 21. Information is being sent to all York homes or can be viewed at york.gov.uk/reinvigorateyork. The first of four consultation events will be from 10am to 4pm tomorrow in St Sampson’s Square.