Area surrounding York train station to be transformed as plans are approved by Council

Plans to transform the area around the railway station in York have been approved.

York station frontage illustrative plans (photo: City of York Council)

The new scheme will see a new road and a new 636-space multi-storey car park built outside the station and part of the station building in Parcel Square knocked down to make way for a new façade.

Queen Street Bridge and the York Railway Institute band room and extensions behind the gymnasium will be demolished, and the Unipart Rail Service Centre building which lies between the station and the commuter car park will be knocked down to make room for the creation of a new three metre-wide cycle lane.

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Councillors voted in favour of the scheme by a majority of nine in favour and six against, but campaigners had concerns about the multi-storey car park and whether there is enough space given to bus services at the front of the station.

The plans will see the car park being built on the current car park behind the York Railway Institute.

Andrew Morrison from York Civic Trust said the group supported the ambitions of the project – but that room for bus services at the front of station under the plans are “insufficient” and would lead to “delays and conflict”.

He added that there will be 1,300 total parking spaces at the station when combined with the spaces provided by the York Central development.

But Michael Howard from City of York Council said: “The growth in passenger numbers at the station means that in real terms the multi-storey car park will represent a reduction in parking spaces per passenger."

He added that the number of bus stops will be increased by four, and that longer bus stops will allow buses to pull out more easily: “This should allow bus services to operate more efficiently with reduced delay.”

Tom Franklin, chair of York Green Party, said: “The multi storey car park is entirely inappropriate, we need to reduce car parking.

“It’s a 20th century solution that will create 21st century problems. If you voted for the climate emergency in 2019, I don’t see how you can vote for the multi storey car park now.”

Niall Melvin from LNER told the Council meeting that the multi-storey car park is needed for people who may drive to the station to make longer onward journeys by train.

He said the company recognises the need to reduce car journeys, but that there will still be parking spaces needed for electric vehicles.

He also added that there are ongoing plans to bring e-scooters for hire at the station and to create storage space for bikes near the new multi-storey car park.

Funding of £14.5 million was secured in March 2020 from a successful bid by the Leeds City Region to the government's Transforming Cities Fund to move ahead with the project.