THE owner of an award-winning York pub fears bands and business could be lost because of new parking restrictions.

City of York Council has approved a rule preventing motorists parking next to Fishergate Bar on George Street, so new paving stones installed as part of an improvement scheme are not damaged.

But Jon Fulton, who runs The Phoenix Inn – next to the section of road covered by the no-parking order – said musicians travelling from as far away as Leeds, who perform at the pub because of its reputation as a jazz venue, may be put off if they are unable to leave their cars outside during gigs.

He also said it may affect trade if music fans also face parking headaches and costs.

The footpath improvements by City of York Council are part of a wider scheme around the Paragon Street, Fawcett Street and George Street junctions, designed to make it easier and safer for people to walk between St George’s Field car park and the Barbican centre.

It also includes more pedestrian crossings and improving the appearance of the road next to Fishergate Bar, with officials saying the George Street rules were designed to ensure this work was not “compromised by parked vehicles”.

An objection from The Phoenix to the original parking proposals said musicians often travelled “long distances” to perform at the pub and had to use cars to carry their instruments.

It said the artists and their audiences may stop coming if they have to pay for parking.

Mr Fulton said: “To have bands from other areas playing here is great for both them and us, but musicians who have already driven for 45 or 50 minutes will not want to be dropping their instruments off at the pub before having to find somewhere else to park.

“We feel it will have an impact on the number of talented musicians we can bring to the Phoenix and affect our business.

“It is great that the council have replaced the flagstones outside the pub, but we believe the traffic order is ridiculous.”

In a report, transport officers said the nearby council-managed Peel Street car park was currently free to use after 6pm and on Sundays, but this may change after it becomes privately run in May.

They said musicians could still unload their cars outside the Phoenix but would then have to park elsewhere, saying there were “extensive single-yellow lines” in the area which could be used for evening parking.