Businesses in a York city centre street where bollards are being installed say the work is "killing" trade - with one restaurant saying takings are down by 50 per cent.

As reported by The Press, the bottom of Colliergate, at its junction with St Saviourgate, was closed off on Monday, October 9, as workers moved in to start installing anti-terrorism bollards. The work, part of a city-wide safety scheme, is set to last six weeks.

However, shops, businesses and restaurants in Colliergate said the roadworks and disruption were having a greater impact than feared.

At Harry’s Barbers, in Colliergate, a staff member told The Press: “It’s totally killing us.

“Nobody’s coming down the street.

"The signage was absolutely ridiculous at first, there was nothing to say the street was open."

York Press: Roadworks on Colliergate, from the St Saviourgate end of the street

One of the worst hit businesses in the street is restaurant Trio, which is directly adjacent to the works. Owner, Mehmet Simsek, said: "We want them to finish it and go.

“Last week, we were down by over 50 per cent (in takings).

“It’s affecting my livelihood, my family life.

“I don’t want to drown because of the council's poor decisions.”

The situation wasn’t just affecting Mehmet, but also his staff. He said: “I have a big team of staff all with rent, bills, families."

He added: “I’ve lived in York for 35 years, I pay my tax, we create jobs, but we don’t exist to them (the council).

“They shouldn’t see us as a number, we still exist and we are not closed.”

York Press: Signage calling for the support of local businesses, Colliergate

Further up Colliergate, iconic York shop Barnitts also said it was feeling the affect of the roadworks.

A spokesperson for the store said: “We have suffered because of it.

“It hasn’t helped with trade, but I understand it has to be done.”

The spokesperson said due to the recent poor weather and scaffolding on the building, the store couldn’t be certain if a fall in takings could be blamed on the bollards disruption.

However they added: "It’s not very helpful in difficult times.

“The quicker it can be done, the better it is for all businesses.”






James Gilchrist, director of environment, transport and planning at City of York Council, said: “We understand and apologise for this disruption to businesses in the affected streets.

“To support them, we’re working with York BID and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to ensure additional banners and signs have been installed that explain the alternative access for pedestrians and encourage support for affected businesses.”



Cllr Pete Kilbane, the council's executive member for transport and economy, said: “We have inherited this programme from the previous Liberal Democrat administration and while we are on the record as being far from happy about it, the best thing to do now is get the works finished as quickly as possible.

"I am painfully aware of the difficulties caused by roadworks outside retail and hospitality premises. The day cannot come soon enough when all of this is completed."

York's Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the economy, Cllr Ashley Mason, said: "It is disappointing that Cllr Kilbane and his officers didn’t do the work to engage with businesses to minimise the impact of the disruption with additional 'open for business' signage and other support.

"These bollards are essential to protect York residents from the acknowledged threat of terrorism and it is shameful to see Labour continue to pretend that they can allow blue badge access and guarantee protection for the city.

"The counter terrorism advice is clear that these two things are mutually exclusive. We are seeing a rise in terrorist incidents worldwide and the Council has a duty to do all it can to avoid vehicles being used as weapons as has happened in cities such as Nice in France."

The Colliergate work is scheduled to finish on November 17. However, bollard installation work in other York city centre streets has already faced delays.