Council bosses have launched a fresh consultation on access in York city centre.

The authority has come under huge criticism from disability campaigners, who say restrictions on blue badge parking introduced following the extension of footsreet areas during lockdown have effectively left people with mobility issues unable to get into the city centre.

Ideas the council is considering to improve access include: 

  • Providing more disabled bays in Blake Street and increasing awareness of the areas Blue Badge holders can park within the city centre
  • working with disabled groups to provide extra seating at key points in the city centre,
  • improving the availability and quality of disabled toilets
  • improving poor quality pavements
  • Shortening ‘footstreet hours’, so that they end at 7pm rather than 8pm, as at present
  • Carrying out a feasibility study into the possibility of a dedicated shuttle service for disabled people through the footstreets
  • Identifying two ‘gold standard disabled car parks’. The council says these would be for people who say the quality of facilities and access routes are more important than distance.
  • Investing in the Shopmobility and Dial & Ride service

Other ideas the council wants feedback on include the possibility of introducing ultra-low emission delivery vehicles or cargo bikes; whether disabled cyclists and cycle couriers should be able to ride in the footstreets; improving cycle routes around the edge of the footstreets; and investing in more secure cycle parking spaces.

Councillor Andy D’Agorne, the deputy leader of City of York Council and executive member for transport said: “We have spent a lot of time listening to community groups across the city to try and understand how we can make it easier for everyone to get to and move around the city centre safely.

“Our draft vision set out a desire for the city centre to be welcoming for all. Whilst balancing the need to keep people safe, we are asking residents for their views about introducing a number of measures we hope will make the city centre more accessible. That means looking at introducing more disabled parking bays in Blake Street and investing in Dial & Ride and Shopmobility services so they can support even more people.

“As well as more ways to help people get to the city centre we also want to make it a better space when people are there and are considering more seating areas, more accessible and better disabled toilets and also improving pavements.

“The input of residents, businesses and stakeholders has helped so much in shaping this work for the city centre. I would urge residents to have their say on these ideas, before they are considered at a future Executive meeting.”

Disability campaigner Rose Drew of the York Equal Access Campaign welcomed some of the proposals, including the extra seats. But she said other measures would make little difference.

"This is more hot air from an ableist council bound and determined to keep York city centre a place only for the young, fit, non-disabled," she said.

Former Lord Mayor Ian Gillies, whose wife Pat and daughter Cathie both have blue badges, added: "The last thing blue badge holders need is yet another consultation. Access should be returned to what it was before Cllr D’Agorne held office."

The consultation officially begins today and will run until Monday October 25.

To have your say, complete an online survey at or pick up a hard copy of the survey from Friday at Explore libraries in the city centre or at Acomb, Clifton or Tang Hall.

Feedback from the consultation will be shared at a City of York Council Executive meeting in November, where the Executive will consider proposals.

For more information visit