More than 60 new signs could be installed throughout the city centre and car parks could be improved under draft budget plans.

Financial proposals to be discussed by senior councillors include putting

  • £330K towards upgrading car parks
  • spending £495K on renewing the pavement on Stonegate
  • £180K to improve the electricity supply at Shambles Market
  • and £25K to look at modernising the market.


And a total of between £350K and £700K from the council and the rest funded by York Business Improvement District (BID) – could be spent on removing 60 heritage signs from the city and replacing them with new signs.

That is a total of up to £1.7m of city council spending.

Andrew Lowson, executive director of York BID, said:

  • We understand this budget still needs to be voted on by full council, but our initial impression is there is positive news for businesses.

    It is a key part of the BID’s mandate to improve both car parking and way-finding and signage in the city. Over the past two years we have worked with the council on strategies for these two areas, and we have put budget aside to make them happen.

    We hope these budget headlines are realised, so that we can pool our contributions and get on with making tangible improvements.

Car parks unacceptable

Cars in Marygate car park, York. Photograph: YorkMix
A report prepared for the council’s executive meeting today (Thursday 14 February), says under the plans Nunnery Lane, Piccadilly, Marygate, Castle, Bishopthorpe Road, Monk Bar and Union Terrace car park would be “brought up to an acceptable standard”.

Work would include resurfacing, improving lighting and signs and updating ticket machines.

And as part of a new wayfinding scheme, 62 new signs – 35 totems, 14 fingerpost and 13 wall signs – could be installed from spring.

Stonegate could also be “reconstructed” after the pavement suffered severe damage during the winter.

The street would be surfaced with new York Stone paving and a granite drain would be installed. The report says:

  • Improving the infrastructure will better enhance the city centre and the overall visiting experience.

    The existing York Stone in Stonegate will be lifted and stored for maintenance elsewhere in the city.

In 2016 there was uproar after dozens of damaged flags in the famous street were replaced by a temporary patchwork of black asphalt.

Powering up the market

Shambles Market: needs better power
The financial plans also include proposals to upgrade the food court and power supply at Shambles Market.

An architect would be asked to look at creating a “modern, attractive, adaptable, weather resistant structure” to safeguard the future of the market and encourage new start up businesses to open.

The site currently only has a 110v electricity supply but this can only power basic lighting, meaning some traders can struggle to refrigerate and heat food. Under the plans, a 240v power supply would be installed.

The budget will be discussed at a meeting at West Offices at 5.30pm.