EXTRA benches, mobility scooter parking bays and better pavements could be installed in York city centre as councillors call for access for disabled people to be improved.

City of York Council has banned blue badge holders from driving in pedestrianised city centre streets during the day - a controversial move which has been supported by some but has upset many disabled people.

Opposition Labour councillors now want a raft of measures to improve access but have stopped short of calling for the blue badge ban to be reversed.

They want the council to work with disabled people to make sure no one is excluded from the city.

Councillors are asking for a full review of pavement and road surfaces - saying they want to make sure cost and appearance are not prioritised over ensuring the streets are user friendly.

They are also calling for extra seating or ‘rest stops’ to be provided across the city centre, accessible toilets and baby changing facilities and parking spaces for bikes and mobility scooters.

And there are plans to look at launching an accessible shuttle bus service that will get people close to the pedestrian zone.

Labour will invite councillors to vote for the plans at a meeting next week.

Coun Rachel Melly says: “We believe York is a welcoming city but unfortunately that isn’t true of the city centre for some of our disabled residents, who say they cannot shop and do other things in the centre since their access has been restricted.

“This motion is about reviewing the whole topic of accessibility, from getting in and out of the pedestrianised footstreets area, to ensuring all the facilities needed are available to people once they get there.

“There is so much more that can be done to improve accessibility, and it doesn’t all need to cost the earth.

“I hope councillors will listen to the impact recent changes have had on blue badge holders in particular, but also reflect on what it means for York to be a truly accessible city.

“We will be calling on all councillors to give their support to our accessible York proposals which are not only morally and ethically the right things to do, but we believe they will also be good news for the York economy.”

Labour says their plans to ban non-essential traffic within the city walls by 2023 would not stop blue badge holders driving into the city centre.