METAL anti-terrorism barriers are appearing across York city centre ahead of the start of the city's Christmas market.

The barriers have been put in place over the past few days in Parliament Street, Blake Street, High Petergate, Goodramgate, Colliergate, Shambles, Spurriergate and Lendal.

It's ahead of the start of the popular St Nicholas Fair, which attracts thousands of tourists to York over the festive period.

City of York Council say it involves a new layout to reduce crowds and traffic, and they say they have also cut the number of chalets in Parliament Street to encourage social distancing and a better flow of visitors to the market.

The hostile vehicle mitigation and pedestrian barriers will be staffed and in full use when the Christmas market opens with stewards present to help keep shoppers and traders safe.

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for strategic planning, said: “York’s festive atmosphere is building up and Christmas is an important time across the economy, especially for our many independent local businesses.

“We want to reassure residents that we’re taking action to allow you to enjoy the holiday season safely – not just with Covid measures in place but also responding to unfortunately enduring threats from possible terror attacks.”

Ashley Young, senior marketing and communications manager at Make It York said: “After the cancellation of many of the city’s festivities last year due to the pandemic, we felt that it was important to bring back the much-loved Christmas Market safely for 2021, and we’ve worked closely with the city’s Safety Advisory Group.”

St Nicholas Fair runs from November 18 - December 23.