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Businesses hit out over King’s Square revamp
BUSINESS owners claim fencing which has been put up around a York square at the start of a revamp is hitting their trade.
The metal fencing has gone up in King’s Square, where City of York Council plans to carry out £490,000 worth of work to repave and remodel the area.
The scheme, part of the authority’s Reinvigorate York initiative, will include improved seating, better pedestrian access and space for street performers, and has been backed by York Retail Forum.
But Matt Moore, manager of the Last Drop Inn in Colliergate, claimed the fencing was having an immediate impact on custom, because it blocked off views of the street from key locations such as the junction of Low Petergate, Goodramgate and Church Street.
While welcoming the phasing of the project, he calculated that takings on Tuesday were about 30 per cent down on the same day last year.
He claimed at one of a number of consultation meetings with the council, it had been suggested by a business that there should be a sign on the fencing listing all the businesses on Colliergate to direct customers to them.
He said the impression had been given that this would happen, but instead there was just a sign saying that businesses were open as usual.
His comments were echoed by Shazad Ajmal, owner of nearby Bering Boutique, a watch shop, who was concerned that people would be deterred by the fencing and would not be able to find their way to the shop.
“Putting the names of the businesses on the fencing is the least the council can do to assist,” he said.
Richard Wood, assistant director of city and environmental services at City of York Council, said: “Key retailers in York, including the Last Drop Inn, backed City of York Council’s decision to postpone the works in May and praised the council for ensuring they were an integral part in any key decisons made, which will ensure retailers gain maximum benefits in the lead up to Christmas.
“Several meetings have been held with retailers and businesses ahead of the scheme starting this week and will continue to take place throughout the scheme. We welcome any further conversation at any time to address concerns.
“The last meeting took place on 15 August where officers provided the latest plans and examples of the barriers that would be used, and no concerns were raised.”
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