York council’s plan to improve transport infrastructure and reverse the ban on blue badge vehicles in the city centre is set to be approved.

The council’s executive will discuss the new local transport strategy and plan on Thursday, October 12.

It will vote on measures proposed by the transport executive, Cllr Pete Kilbane, to reduce congestion, improve air quality and make the city more accessible.

One measure to achieve better accessibility in the plan is to “listen to the disabled community and review blue badge access to the city".

Disabled parking was permanently prevented in pedestrianised areas of York in 2021 and Labour made reversing the decision a key pledge before the May 2023 local elections.

“It’s fantastic,” said City of York Council leader, Cllr Claire Douglas.

“We want to get access for people in a safe manner as soon as possible and that’s what we hope to achieve in executive.”

She added: “Then there will be a period of seeing what works well, what doesn’t and if we need to change anything.

“We’ll be going through a bit of a cycle of improvement and adjustment over a period of time.

“It’s so important to us to get people back into the city centre that they’ve been excluded from for three years and enable them to enjoy their city.

York Press: Cllrs Claire Douglas and Pete KilbaneCllrs Claire Douglas and Pete Kilbane

“We’re over the moon about it.”

Other key measures include:

  • Mitigate the carbon impact of upgrading and dualling the A1237, reducing congestion and enabling active travel.
  • Seek to extend the Clean Air Zone to include freight and taxis.
  • Become a fully electrified bus city, refresh the EV strategy including ebikes and e-scooters.
  • Improve York’s access to rail, completing the Station Frontage scheme and continue to support a station at Haxby.
  • Provide concessionary bus fares for people aged up to 25 years old.
  • Improve streets, cycleways and footpaths for walkers and wheelers.

Andrew Morrison, chief executive of York Civic Trust, said: “The document makes clear that transport policy is not just about reducing congestion.


“We need to tackle climate change, reduce air pollution, address the scourge of casualties on our roads, and protect York’s unique heritage.

“At the same time, we need a transport system which provides access for all, supports York’s economy, and ensures that all communities in York are safe, healthy and lively places in which to live and work.

“These are all objectives which we advocated in our transport strategy for York, published last year.”

Tony May, chair of the trust’s environment committee, added: “It is now almost three years since the council invited York Civic Trust to advise on its new local transport plan.

“If we are to achieve the council’s target of reducing carbon emissions from transport by 70 per cent by 2030, we now need urgent action.

“What we would like to see in the November statement are a set of clear targets for 2030 against all of the council’s objectives; a set of specific policy actions, such as reducing traffic on the most polluted streets; and clear evidence that those policy actions will achieve the council’s targets.

“Recent pronouncements suggest that central government may be less likely to support such actions, so the council needs, urgently, to assess what its strategy will cost, and how the funding needed will be raised.

“We in York Civic Trust stand ready to support the council in these endeavours.”