Campaigners have slammed plans to redevelop the area outside York railway station - claiming it will become less accessible for disabled people.

Members of York Disability Rights Forum (YDRF) say the £26 million Station Gateway scheme "builds in more inaccessibility for the long-term future" of the city centre site.

City of York Council's proposals for the area between the station building and the city walls will see a new transport interchange layout for taxi ranks, public drop-offs, along with the movement of existing bus-stops.

As reported in The Press, some of the scheme's phased works are already underway and the council completion is scheduled for 2025.


YDRF said disabled people are unhappy that access is being worsened by the introduction of two-way cycle lanes and bus-stop bypasses, sometimes known as 'floating bus-stops'.

York Press: An example of a 'floating bus-stop' between a cycle lane and roadAn example of a 'floating bus-stop' between a cycle lane and road (Image: Newsquest)

A bus-stop bypass is a cycle lane located behind a bus-stop to keep cyclists apart from other road users.

They continue parallel to the road and the bus-stop becomes an ‘island’ between the cycle lane and road.

More than 20 pedestrian crossings are in the plans for the public realm in front of the station from Queen Street to just after Tea Room Square, with 11 of those scheduled to cross the cycle lanes.

The campaign group said that at consultation workshops in February with the council and community groups, including YDRF, participants were told it was too late to make significant changes to designs for the project.

However, it claimed there is no definition in planning controls for what constitutes a material change and that the current Labour administration says its hands are tied by planning law.

YDRF member Flick Williams said: “We were hoping to convince the council to make some changes.

“Towards the end of last year we were shown a presentation and that was the first time the proposals were revealed to us in all their horror.”

The forum has called on the council to simplify the plans and make pedestrian routes safer, which it says should also be consistent with the Highway Code and its hierarchy of road users.

City of York Council’s executive member for transport, Councillor Pete Kilbane, said the Station Gateway scheme was another major plan the current Labour-run administration had inherited from the previous Lib Dem/Green coalition that people had raised concerns about.

He said: “So we organised two intensive workshops that brought together representatives of the disabled community, carers, bus users, pedestrians and cyclists.

“That was a productive and useful process and I thank all involved.

“This administration has a proven track record of taking the concerns of disabled people seriously. 

“However, because planning permission has previously been granted, any improvements we make cannot deviate significantly from that approved permission.

“But, following on from the workshops, we are committed to looking at what improvements we can make to ensure we do everything possible to address the concerns raised.”

The York Press contacted City of York Council officers for a comment and we will report it here.