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Traders hit out over York traffic policies
5:18pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in News
DOZENS of York businesses have criticised the extension of York's pedestrian-only hours and the impending closure of Lendal Bridge.
A report and survey released by the Federation of Small Businesses today showed significant dissatisfaction with City of York Council policies on footstreets and the bridge.
The FSB sent a survey to 1,477 York businesses and received 111 replies (a response rate of 7.5 per cent), with varying response rates to different questions.
Of those who responded:
- 56 said the Lendal Bridge closure would have a negative affect on their business. 11 said it would have a positive affect.
- 76 said they were not consulted on the recent extension of the 'footstreets' hours. 27 said they were.
- 43 said the footstreets change had negatively affected their business. 17 said they had benefited.
There was also opposition to the council's restrictions on A-boards in the city centre, although there was majority support overall for the council's plans to introduce a late-night levy on licensed premises, which have angered many pub landlords.
The FSB also claimed the council was failing to adhere to its guidance when it consulted with businesses. It said the council did not consult widely enough, did not adequately explain the rationale for its policies and did not consult businesses early enough when making decisions. The council said it followed the guidance.
On Lendal Bridge, the FSB said it had been consulted but said it had not been given enough time for all concerns to be addressed.
It added: "The ad hoc, drip feed of information and answers to queries has made it impossible to pass essential information on to businesses in a meaningful way. A longer lead time & full resolution of concerns before implementation would have helped City of York Council and businesses come to terms with the proposal and CYC should bear this in mind for future projects."
The FSB launched its consultation due to what it called an apparent lack of consultation by the council over the Lendal Bridge closure, the foot-streets hours, A-Boards and the late-night levy. It said its concerns were heightened by the fact the council had signed up in 2011 to an agreement around how businesses would be consulted.
The Press invited the city council to comment on the FSB's claims. The council said it had followed FSB guidance on consulting and said its position was represented in its own statement today on Lendal Bridge.
View the FSB report here: fsb_york.pdf
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