York’s city walls could be made one-way when they reopen and new cycling ‘super hubs’ are to be set up.
A city centre street will also be made one-way to vehicles, under an economic recovery plan published by City of York Council.
The council says it expects there could be 15,000 jobs lost in York as a result of coronavirus – mainly in the hospitality, food and drink, retail, leisure and cultural sectors.
This comes after warnings from the Local Enterprise Partnership that up to 17,500 jobs could be cut in the city.
The council has published an Economic Recovery Strategy – which looks at measures to support the city’s economy.
Daunting for people
Under the plans, Coppergate would be made one-way, the Castle Car Park will be closed, two ‘Park & Cycle super-sites’ would be created, school drop-off plans will be outlined and a one-way walking route around the Bar Walls introduced.
The measures aim to make people feel safe and confident – encouraging them to return to visiting the city and its businesses.
The report says: “In the short term, when the current lockdown is initially lifted it may feel daunting to people at first.
“The assumption is that people will look to spend time and money locally until confidence grows and some forms of national domestic tourism returns.
“International travel is expected to be severely restricted and affected for the foreseeable future.
“The city’s economy, particularly in the city centre, is very dependent on tourism which creates and sustains significant numbers of jobs.”
York Outer MP Julian Sturdy said 30,000 residents are being helped by government employment support schemes during the crisis.
He said figures reveal 14,000 employees are on the furlough programme in York Central and 10,000 in York Outer – as well as more than 6,000 self-employed people getting financial help from government.
The council is looking at changes that can be made in the city – including making Coppergate one-way only westbound for six months to enable social distancing for pedestrians.
It will stay two-way for bicycles.
The council may also make make “bold interventions” – so people do not become reliant on travelling into the city by car.
This may include subsidised cycle hire programmes, more bicycle parking and a network of Park & Cycle hubs.
These sites would have cycle hangars, bicycle hire schemes and priority routes with no on-road cycling, into new city centre cycle parks.