PLANS are moving forward to make Fossgate more "pedestrian friendly" in a bid to attract more shoppers from York's city centre.

The £310,000 scheme has been approved by City of York Council's cabinet, with work on physical improvements to the street set to get underway next month.

Council officers held a public consultation into the street work, with talks still ongoing over plans to pedestrianise Fossgate during the day.

The street work, which falls under the local authority's Reinvigorate York scheme, will see the road resurfaced, some parking spaces moved, new seats installed, as well as the raising of the road to the level of existing footpaths between its junction with Pavement and the area outside Mason’s Bar and Bistro.

Unique wide granite kerbs would be kept, as will stone setts and paving on Fossgate’s bridge.

Traders in Fossgate have been meeting with council officials and were told the street will be branded with a reclaimed iron archway reading "Welcome to Fossgate, York's Merchants Quarters".

Businesses will be meeting the council again on Thursday to go over plans for the street improvements, ahead of work starting in May.

Steve Dyson, owner of Spring Espresso in Fossgate, said: "This work will make the top of Fossgate look more appealing, it's going to look a lot better.

"We are close to the city centre here, but we are detached. This will make the street more appealing and attract more trade.

"What I would like to see personally is for the whole street to be pedestrianised, so cafes and restaurants can put seating outside. In that sense that work falls somewhat short of what the ideal would be."

Also in favour of pedestrianisation is Martyn Macdonald, director of Macdonalds of York furniture shop in Fossgate.

He said: "I think it will be great, the work will improve the whole look of the street and make it more friendly for pedestrians, bringing more shoppers down into the street.

"I would like to see the street pedestrianised. It would mean we would have to change some aspects of our business, but the benefits of having the street pedestrianised much outweigh that."

In the consultation on proposals for the Reinvigorate York scheme, which drew 600 responses, 56 per cent said Fossgate should be a daytime footstreet and 52 per cent agreed with the choice of paving materials.