Anti-terrorism barriers on The Shambles in York to be removed following outcry from business owners

Anti-terrorism barriers on York’s historic Shambles will be replaced following an outcry from traders.

Large metal bollards were put at the Pavement end of the famous street last week in order to protect people visiting the city centre over the busy Christmas period.

But business owners said the barriers blocked delivery drivers and disability advocacy groups said they made the narrow street even more tricky to navigate.

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City of York Council and Make it York stressed that counter-terrorism police said security measures were necessary..

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But there has been a rethink, and barriers which will make access easier for the disabled, pedestrians and businesses are set to replace the existing ones.  

Ashley Young, from Make It York, said: “The police have confirmed that these measures are necessary to protect the Christmas markets, residents and visitors in the city at Christmas, however we’re pleased to have reached a workable solution to swap the current measures for a different layout that will improve access for wheelchair users, allow pallet deliveries, and increase pedestrian flows through this location.”

Make It York has written to all affected businesses and will be helping them to ensure deliveries can get through the new barriers.

Andy D’Agorne, the council’s executive member for transport, said: “Partnership work between safety experts and affected businesses has identified a workable, accessible and safe solution, which will suit businesses as well as pedestrians. The contractors will install the revised temporary measures as soon as they end their work supporting security at COP26 in Glasgow.

“Particularly during this busy holiday season, it’s the council’s duty to protect the city and the many residents and visitors who will come to enjoy all that York has to offer.”

Councillors will this week debate measures that will see more subtle anti-terror measures installed around the city’s footstreets, which would eventually prevent the need for temporary barriers in the Shambles.

Coun D’Agorne added: “However, until these are in place we must do all that’s necessary to protect residents and visitors.”