PART of a York taxi rank could be turned temporarily into a loading bay to ensure business deliveries can continue during a square’s revamp.

City of York Council is considering shortening the rank in St Saviourgate to allow for deliveries to properties affected by the second phase of the redevelopment of King’s Square.

The proposal has been attacked by a driver, who wrote to The Press to raise concerns about the impact on regular customers, in particular elderly passengers, and also on drivers.

The driver, who asked not to be named, claimed: “It is quite obvious that City of York Council is not the slightest bit interested in the safety of its senior citizens, many of whom are in their 80s and a few of whom are 90 years of age plus.

“These senior citizens and the infirm will no doubt be expected to walk further and struggle with their shopping, while fit and able van and lorry drivers are given preferential treatment, and the hackney carriage drivers who have paid the council for the privilege of using the rank are told to go somewhere else.

“Our earnings will be decimated.”

A council spokeswoman said residents, businesses and traders had played, and would continue to play, an important part in the King’s Square scheme.

The scheme is part of the wider Reinvigorate York project. It is intended to improve the square’s appearance and provide better seating, pedestrian access and street-performance space.

The spokeswoman said: “Following consultation, a large majority favoured the idea of splitting the scheme in to two halves, allowing deliveries access either in from the north or south and turning in St Andrewgate.

“Further proposals for phase two could see St Saviourgate taxi rank shortened to allow deliveries to those properties affected by the King’s Square works.

“Taxis would also still be able to use the feeder rank outside the Central Methodist Church.

“We recently wrote to businesses in the area to put these proposals forward and ask for feedback.

“Any decisions will be made public in advance of the works starting to allow plenty of time for those affected to make suitable arrangements.”