STREETS in York are set to be made vehicle free in a move to prevent terror attacks in the city.

City of York Council announced on Monday that, following advice from North Yorkshire Police and independent security experts, new measures would be put in place "combat the ongoing threat of ‘vehicle weapon attacks’ like those seen recently in Toronto, London and Nice".

A trial will be held before permanent measures are installed in areas where large numbers of pedestrians can be found, and will end vehicle access to St Sampson’s Square during 'footstreet' or pedestrianised hours - between 10.30am and 5pm, seven days a week - with a new experimental traffic regulation order (ETRO).

The restrictions will also be enforced along Coney Street, and new bollards will be installed at the northern end of the street, close to the Mansion House.

Superintendent Lindsey Robson, commander for the York and Selby area, said: "We welcome these latest security measures designed to keep residents and visitors to York as safe as possible.

"The national threat level remains severe and this combined with the shift in methods from complex, coordinated attacks that we’ve seen around the world, to more basic attacks, means that we must do all that we can to protect members of the public. Alongside these physical measures there is a lot going on behind the scenes and we continue to work alongside counter terrorism police to prevent, disrupt and deter extremist activity across the country."

Consultation will take place after the initial trial period, to allow the public to have their say on access to the city centre.

Cllr Ian Gillies, leader of City of York Council, said: "Whilst vehicle incidents are very rare in this country we take the safety of residents, businesses and visitors very seriously. Therefore we want to ensure all reasonable measures are introduced to deter would be terrorists.

"We’ve worked alongside the police and security experts and city centre partners to introduce measures that respect York’s heritage and still allow people to move freely around this beautiful city whilst providing the necessary security."

Cllr Andrew Waller, deputy leader of City of York Council, said: "The safety of everyone in the city is one of our key priorities. We’re determined to ensure that appropriate measures are introduced in the city, as recommended by the police, whilst also minimising the impact these may have on key groups.

"We have worked alongside security experts with great knowledge about introducing these measures in historic locations, such as York, to develop the best solution for the city, residents and visitors."

The trial changes will be in place by next Monday, November 5, meaning after this date the general public and Blue Badge holders, will no longer be able to access St Sampson’s Square during footstreet hours.

The council is writing to Blue Badge holders in York about the changes, and highlighting alternative parking in Blake Street, Lendal, Deangate or Goodramgate.