Street strategy calls for "dramatic" improvements around York's Bars

Street strategy calls for

Street strategy calls for "dramatic" improvements around York's Bars

Updated in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Political Reporter

RADICAL improvements must be made to the areas around York’s historic Bars, a masterplan for city streets has claimed.

City of York Council’s “streetscape strategy”, designed to guide the future of York’s streets and public spaces, also says major work is needed to make the “confusing” and poorly-designed route from York Station to the city-centre more welcoming.

The review, due to be discussed by councillors tonight, says navigating York can be “complex and difficult to understand”, the city-centre is too cluttered and lacks enough public art, cycle-parking and seating, and more should be spent on cycling schemes but pedestrians using footstreets may need extra protection from bikes.

It says funding will be limited, but proposes immediate steps including considering banning “for sale” and “for let” signs in conservation areas and looking at whether street performers should be able to use amplified sound. The report says York does not have a “consistent street environment” and many parts of the city-centre lack “harmony”.

The document was recommended by several parties - including urban design expert Professor Alan Simpson, who produced 2010’s “New City Beautiful” vision for York – with organisations including English Heritage and York Civic Trust taking part in a consultation.

The strategy said roads and footpaths either side of the Bars should be improved to “enhance the special qualities of these remarkable structures”, saying: “These are the main historic gateways into the city and their settings should be dramatically improved.”

New lighting schemes between the station and the city-centre have been suggested as one way of improving the route, while the document advised planting more trees on “gateway” roads and considering riverside public art installations in locations such as New Walk, Terry Avenue and next to the Museum Gardens. It said Exhibition Square could house temporary or permanent art displays or performances.

Other suggestions include extending a city-centre “decluttering” campaign to other areas and explaining York better. The strategy said: “Museums and other attractions do an excellent job, but streets, public spaces and their relationship with York’s urban landscape are sometimes difficult to understand.”

It also said the council should work with estate agents to ban signs in conservation areas, as they often stayed in place for long periods and their commercial effectiveness was “questionable”.

In his consultation response, York Civic Trust director Peter Brown supported reviewing use of amplifiers by street artists, saying some “take it to extreme levels”, and said the Trust was “greatly encouraged” by the document.

Tracy Dearing of the RNIB charity voiced concerns a “shared spaces” approach – such as removing signs, road markings and kerbs - could be taken, increasing risks for blind or partially-sighted people. Conservationist Alison Sinclair said Micklegate should be promoted as an alternative route from the station to the city-centre “to assist its regeneration”.

Comments (15)

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10:31am Mon 31 Mar 14

roskoboskovic says...

sometimes i just can t believe what i m reading.york is york FFS,why do we need to design anything,when it is part of the fabric of the city.our lovely city has been spoiled enough by the proliferation of mismatched buildings and we residents don t get confused walking around.the part about estate agents signs is pure hypocrisy and shows the lack of concern for residents.take a look down heslington rd,hull rd and badger hill where signs are left permanently in place to attract tenants but of course we don t get too many tourists in these areas.
sometimes i just can t believe what i m reading.york is york FFS,why do we need to design anything,when it is part of the fabric of the city.our lovely city has been spoiled enough by the proliferation of mismatched buildings and we residents don t get confused walking around.the part about estate agents signs is pure hypocrisy and shows the lack of concern for residents.take a look down heslington rd,hull rd and badger hill where signs are left permanently in place to attract tenants but of course we don t get too many tourists in these areas. roskoboskovic
  • Score: -19

10:36am Mon 31 Mar 14

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

If it's already "too cluttered" how is more public art, cycle parking and seating going to help? But I certainly agree about street marking. The asphalt was still bubbling when the white paint brigade started clarting ugly motorway size graphics and thick yellow lines onto Petergate and Goodramgate in the early hours of Thursday morning. Just look at Monkgate - an elegant wide street ruined by gratuitous road markings.
If it's already "too cluttered" how is more public art, cycle parking and seating going to help? But I certainly agree about street marking. The asphalt was still bubbling when the white paint brigade started clarting ugly motorway size graphics and thick yellow lines onto Petergate and Goodramgate in the early hours of Thursday morning. Just look at Monkgate - an elegant wide street ruined by gratuitous road markings. Ignatius Lumpopo
  • Score: -20

10:38am Mon 31 Mar 14

acomblass says...

I shudder every time I see the name of Prof Simpson in a story and "de cluttering". What this really means is let's make York like every other city in the world base it on Bruges and Barcelona and then wait for the tourists to arrive in droves - forget about the residents.
I shudder every time I see the name of Prof Simpson in a story and "de cluttering". What this really means is let's make York like every other city in the world base it on Bruges and Barcelona and then wait for the tourists to arrive in droves - forget about the residents. acomblass
  • Score: -31

10:50am Mon 31 Mar 14

metsaagain says...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, it would be a great start if the council just really kept the place clean- not just emptying bins- but getting rid of the really solid layers of grime and general gack that disfigures so much of the city centre. For example, the area around the Whip ma Whop Ma gate and St Saviourgate- graffiti, filth, rubbish, needles, vandalised public phone. If they went round all the streets with a high-pressure hose once a month and had a street team ready to leap in an fix vandalism/remove graffiti the place would look a lot better
I've said it before and I'll say it again, it would be a great start if the council just really kept the place clean- not just emptying bins- but getting rid of the really solid layers of grime and general gack that disfigures so much of the city centre. For example, the area around the Whip ma Whop Ma gate and St Saviourgate- graffiti, filth, rubbish, needles, vandalised public phone. If they went round all the streets with a high-pressure hose once a month and had a street team ready to leap in an fix vandalism/remove graffiti the place would look a lot better metsaagain
  • Score: 2

10:56am Mon 31 Mar 14

samthedog says...

Next from CYC, use the bar walls to exclude vehicles from the town center!
Next from CYC, use the bar walls to exclude vehicles from the town center! samthedog
  • Score: -50

11:02am Mon 31 Mar 14

piaggio1 says...

And pray tell.why would you go down /up mickelgate to get to the station????
Conservation? ? Is that a real job!.or another made up title
And pray tell.why would you go down /up mickelgate to get to the station???? Conservation? ? Is that a real job!.or another made up title piaggio1
  • Score: -44

11:38am Mon 31 Mar 14

P3TER1 says...

Instead of more consultations, more talk and more planning and indecisiveness, design a masterplan, an end goal, and work back from that. A city wide long terms vision and plan of action. If we operate without this we'll end up with a fragmented city, which will resemble Hull. Formulate a plan and stick to it.
Instead of more consultations, more talk and more planning and indecisiveness, design a masterplan, an end goal, and work back from that. A city wide long terms vision and plan of action. If we operate without this we'll end up with a fragmented city, which will resemble Hull. Formulate a plan and stick to it. P3TER1
  • Score: -59

11:48am Mon 31 Mar 14

BL2 says...

Not more money wasted on ridiculous cycling schemes? Have they ot done enough to ruin our city yet?
Not more money wasted on ridiculous cycling schemes? Have they ot done enough to ruin our city yet? BL2
  • Score: -51

12:05pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Pinza-C55 says...

They could start by having some kind of cleaning regime for the Walls. I often walk round them and there are often piles of human waste at Fishergate Postern and Walmgate Bar which lie there for a week or more. On one occasion in the summer someone had urinated on the stairs at Fishergate and the smell was horrific.
The walls should be cleaned every day and then checked by an officer later to make sure it has been done.
The sentence "the city-centre is too cluttered and lacks enough public art, cycle-parking and seating,"
What, more cycle racks like the untidy mess at the top of Blake Street or the one in Lendal?
They could start by having some kind of cleaning regime for the Walls. I often walk round them and there are often piles of human waste at Fishergate Postern and Walmgate Bar which lie there for a week or more. On one occasion in the summer someone had urinated on the stairs at Fishergate and the smell was horrific. The walls should be cleaned every day and then checked by an officer later to make sure it has been done. The sentence "the city-centre is too cluttered and lacks enough public art, cycle-parking and seating," What, more cycle racks like the untidy mess at the top of Blake Street or the one in Lendal? Pinza-C55
  • Score: -47

12:15pm Mon 31 Mar 14

tgfoy says...

"The review, due to be discussed by councillors tonight, says navigating York can be “complex and difficult to understand”, the city-centre is too cluttered and lacks enough public art, cycle-parking and seating, and more should be spent on cycling schemes but pedestrians using footstreets may need extra protection from bikes."

Perhaps enforcing existing footstreet regulations would help, perhaps even fining those who disregard them. I realise that may be a revolutionary idea, but it seems like a common sense starting point to me.
"The review, due to be discussed by councillors tonight, says navigating York can be “complex and difficult to understand”, the city-centre is too cluttered and lacks enough public art, cycle-parking and seating, and more should be spent on cycling schemes but pedestrians using footstreets may need extra protection from bikes." Perhaps enforcing existing footstreet regulations would help, perhaps even fining those who disregard them. I realise that may be a revolutionary idea, but it seems like a common sense starting point to me. tgfoy
  • Score: -33

4:26pm Mon 31 Mar 14

york_chap says...

"the city-centre is too cluttered and lacks enough public art, cycle-parking and seating".

That's an oxymoron if ever I saw one. Lets get rid of the clutter we already have and replace it with different clutter. Sounds like great value for money - well done Council.
"the city-centre is too cluttered and lacks enough public art, cycle-parking and seating". That's an oxymoron if ever I saw one. Lets get rid of the clutter we already have and replace it with different clutter. Sounds like great value for money - well done Council. york_chap
  • Score: -27

6:13pm Mon 31 Mar 14

boroboy66 says...

Also total lack of Toilet facilities for late night visitors and tourists,maybe some thought may be put towards this,and may help to reduce the tragic river deaths of people having to use our rivers to relieve them selves out of the public sight and sadly being intoxicated fall in,i have lived here for over 30yrs and struggle to find a toilet open,so how on earth can a visitor or intoxicated person find one.
Also total lack of Toilet facilities for late night visitors and tourists,maybe some thought may be put towards this,and may help to reduce the tragic river deaths of people having to use our rivers to relieve them selves out of the public sight and sadly being intoxicated fall in,i have lived here for over 30yrs and struggle to find a toilet open,so how on earth can a visitor or intoxicated person find one. boroboy66
  • Score: -7

10:01pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Yorkswalls says...

Pleased to hear that the council is at long last realising the asset we have York Walls.2000 years of history is worth promoting/celebratin
g in my humble opinion.
Pleased to hear that the council is at long last realising the asset we have York Walls.2000 years of history is worth promoting/celebratin g in my humble opinion. Yorkswalls
  • Score: -10

1:49am Tue 1 Apr 14

jay, york says...

This is so ridiculous it just has to be an April fool!
This is so ridiculous it just has to be an April fool! jay, york
  • Score: 1

5:47am Tue 1 Apr 14

Magicman! says...

the city-centre .... lacks enough public art, cycle-parking and seating, and more should be spent on cycling schemes but pedestrians using footstreets may need extra protection from bikes.

Is this coming from the same council that authorised the Minster plazza, one of the worst refurbishments of a street I have seen in modern times? a street which is not DDA-compliant and has no meaningful segregation between pedestrians and cyclists which can (and does) lead to collisions between cyclists legitimately using the 'road' through there and pedestrians standing or walkign into the 'road' section without seeing the BARELY VISIBLE markings of the cycle route.

Tracy Dearing of the RNIB charity voiced concerns a “shared spaces” approach – such as removing signs, road markings and kerbs - could be taken, increasing risks for blind or partially-sighted people.

Again, the Minster Plazza is the pefrect example of how not to do it. The full length of the cycle lane should have been at a dropped level with sloped kerbstones either side, AND tactile paving along the full length either side of the dropped kerbstones - that way there would have been no mistaking the entry onto a traffic lane for any pedestrians in the area.
[quote]the city-centre .... lacks enough public art, cycle-parking and seating, and more should be spent on cycling schemes but pedestrians using footstreets may need extra protection from bikes. [/quote] Is this coming from the same council that authorised the Minster plazza, one of the worst refurbishments of a street I have seen in modern times? a street which is not DDA-compliant and has no meaningful segregation between pedestrians and cyclists which can (and does) lead to collisions between cyclists legitimately using the 'road' through there and pedestrians standing or walkign into the 'road' section without seeing the BARELY VISIBLE markings of the cycle route. [quote]Tracy Dearing of the RNIB charity voiced concerns a “shared spaces” approach – such as removing signs, road markings and kerbs - could be taken, increasing risks for blind or partially-sighted people. [/quote] Again, the Minster Plazza is the pefrect example of how not to do it. The full length of the cycle lane should have been at a dropped level with sloped kerbstones either side, AND tactile paving along the full length either side of the dropped kerbstones - that way there would have been no mistaking the entry onto a traffic lane for any pedestrians in the area. Magicman!
  • Score: 1

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