How have changes to York city centre affected residents with disabilities?

The extra disabled bays at Monk Bar car park. Photograph: Richard McDougall

Disabled residents are being urged to tell the council how changes to city centre streets have affected them.

Under emergency coronavirus powers some streets have been closed to traffic and the pedestrian hours have been extended until 8pm to make more space for pavement cafes.

But residents with mobility issues hit out at the changes – which saw blue badge parking moved to Monk Bar and a free taxi service launched to drop people off behind Barnitts on St Andrewgate.

Campaigners accused the council of being patronising and at risk of discriminating against them – leading the authority to review changes in Fossgate to allow some drivers access.

The council now wants to hear from anyone who has been affected by the extension of the pedestrian zone – regardless of whether they have mobility issues or a blue badge.

Accessible to all

Cllr Andrew Waller

Cllr Andrew Waller said: “The rapid changes footstreets and replacement blue badge measures had proved helpful to keep some businesses running but it is recognised that for the longer term there needs to be a review.

“I look forward to hearing more from residents and working with businesses to boost a local economy which is accessible to and benefits all our residents.”

Cllr Andy D’Agorne added: “We know there will be a range of things we need to do, so we want to hear from as many people as possible to understand all the challenges and seek to find ways to overcome them.

“2020 was going to be the year we explored how to make sure everyone can access and enjoy our city centre.

“Yet coronavirus meant we had to first cancel the ‘My City Centre’ engagement exercise and then use emergency powers to protect residents jobs and allow York to reopen safely.”

Have your say

Labour councillor Rachel Melly said restrictions on Goodramgate and Blake Street have worried disabled residents most as these are access routes.

She called on the council to review the blue badge parking and road closure arrangements, listening to disability groups.

To have your say fill out an online survey at the council website at by September 28. A hard copy of the survey will also be posted to homes across the city from September 7 with a freepost return address.