Public toilets and tips closed, funerals downsized – but Rowntree Park is reopening

Coming soon… a stroll round Rowntree Park. Photograph: YorkMix
25 Mar 2020 @ 7.30 pm
| News

The council has issued an update on many of its services as the Covid-19 emergency continues to have York in its grip.

Here are the key changes.

Parking and car parks

Free parking for key workers. People who work in the NHS or are health and social care related services or work in supermarkets and food outlets without parking (this does not include takeaways) will be able to park for free in council car parks to support the fantastic work they are doing during the corona virus pandemic.

 They just need to put a letter on their employer’s headed paper in the windscreen confirming that they are a key worker.

During the outbreak the council realises people may not be able to move their car whilst they self-isolate so “some discretion is being shown to people who park legally provided they are not causing an obstruction or wilfully breaking the law”.

Any urgent enquiries on this can be sent to [email protected] where officers will get back to you as soon as possible.

Fossbank and Piccadilly car parks are currently closed.

Public toilets

Public toilets in the city centre will be closed until further notice. “We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause,” a council spokesman said.

Parks and open spaces

The Zoo Skatepark in York. Photograph: Flaming Pint Photography

All council-run parks in the city will remain open for exercise but visitors are asked to ensure they adhere to social distance best practice. From this weekend, Rowntree Park will reopen following the flooding earlier this year.

Play areas will be closed from today and this includes basketball courts, skateparks, caged five a side areas and tennis courts. Notices are being placed in all play areas instructing the public of this decision.


“We are suspending all non-essential roadworks across the city, including replacing traffic signals on Monkgate, following the government’s advice on social distancing,” the spokesman said.

“If possible we will remove cones and temporary traffic light to ensure the minimum amount of disruption is caused for those making essential journeys. This also ensures that we are able to redeploy staff if necessary to ensure essential services, such as refuse collection, continue to run.”

Bulky waste collections

The council’s bulky waste collection services from households has now temporarily stopped. This is to help the council continue to provide essential services across the city, including collecting black bins.

Household Waste recycling centres

All tips – including Hazel Court and Towthorpe – are now closed to the public.

“We will be keeping Hazel Court open for commercial use – e.g. small builders, as they are currently allowed to continue to operate whilst adhering to social distancing,” said the council. “They will be required to produce a ‘duty of care’ transfer note on arrival.”

Register office

Photograph: York Register Office on Instagram

All ceremonies have been postponed following the government’s advice. The council has contacted everyone who has made a booking to look at rescheduling for a later date.

The Register Office is currently only open to register a death – and then only for pre-booked appointments for people who are not showing any symptoms – one person per visit.


Funeral services will still go ahead but with only ten mourners to being allowed inside the White Rose Chapel and five inside the Ebor Chapel. This is restricted to close family only – spouse/partner, parents/carers, brothers/sisters and children and their partners. This is to minimise the number of people gathering.


The council is contacting all vulnerable households and tenants aged over 65 to check on their needs.

All housing landlord services will be run online or by phone to protect tenants, their families and our staff.

No face-to-face appointments can be run at the moment and tenants are being asked to use online and phone services only.

Tenants that they must continue to pay their rent, but any who are struggling with their rent should contact their Housing Management Officers (HMOs) as soon as possible. “We’re taking a flexible approach on enforcement,” said the spokesman.