More ‘reinvigoration': have your say

Statue, city square, Minster towers

Exhibition Square, June 2007

A good thing about the council’s ‘Reinvigorate York’ projects and the accompanying consultations is that they make us pay closer attention to places we perhaps take for granted. What the King’s Square saga showed is that it’s obviously better if we contribute our thoughts on the plans before the point when features are being removed and the paving is being lifted.

So I hope word is getting round about the current consultation (running until 21 Feb) and that we’ll fill in the survey/consultation form.

The online survey/consultation seems to be a combined questionnaire covering all three schemes. If so that’s a shame as many of us may have strong feelings about one particular project but not the other two. Reading the information takes long enough. I wonder how many people will comment via the consultation form. More than for King’s Square, I hope.

Anyway, the projects are:


Fossgate, May 2013


Fossgate improvements – City of York council information

It has been mentioned often over the years that Fossgate should perhaps become another daytime footstreet, and these proposals implement that. I don’t have an opinion on this, if you do, comments welcome below.

The plans also include repaving of the two entrances to the street (from Walmgate and from Pavement) and areas of pavement widening, which could include seating. I assume this must mean benches, not cafe seating, as Fossgate is very narrow.

Paving and fountain

Exhibition Square: paving and fountain

Exhibition Square

Exhibition Square & Theatre Interchange improvements – City of York council info

The available information suggests that these plans are not as radical and destructive as the King’s Square changes seemed. The Yorkstone paving is to be retained and added to, rather than lifted. The plan is to extend the paving with reclaimed stone (the slabs recently lifted from King’s Square, perhaps).

Whether this is a change of approach in the light of the response to King’s Square, or was always the plan, I don’t know. It would appear that the paving slabs in Exhibition Square also date from the 1970s, as before then the area was mainly used for car parking, right up to the front of the gallery.

I’ve already written about Etty and the fountain.

Other suggested changes include reducing the size of the parking bay, and relocating the bus shelter. From my point of view, as a pedestrian who regularly walks across this area, these seem like good ideas. I can’t say I’ve ever thought ‘I do wish someone would move that bus stop’, but now they mention it, yes, it would be easier if all us pedestrians passing weren’t behind funneled into the fairly narrow space behind it.

I don’t like the sound of ‘coloured asphalt’ across the road in front of Bootham Bar. Particularly if it’s reddish in colour, which would be a bit loud and attention-grabbing? When really it should be Bootham Bar claiming our attention. Particularly on a summer’s evening when its old stone glows in the late sunlight. I hope CYC keep their coloured asphalt away from here. Though the junction’s not looking that great at the moment, cluttered with Lendal Bridge closure signage.

Duncombe Place/Blake St

Road junction, with bikes and traffic

Duncombe Place/Blake St junction, Sept 2013

Duncombe Place & Blake Street Junction improvements – City of York council information

They’re right, it’s a daft clutter at present, with the raised flowerbed and triangle of bits of road. But again, ‘coloured asphalt’ is proposed, again it’s supposed to be an impressive view, towards the main focus, the Minster, and I wonder if a wide band of coloured asphalt leaping into that famous view would be an improvement?

How to have your say

Press release, info on online consultation and staffed consultation events

Background on individual projects – see links under headings above

Online consultation/questionnaire

… And please share, spread the word

Please share the information about the consultation as widely as possible, particularly highlighting the Exhibition Square ideas/proposals.

Many people were upset – and yes, I chose that word carefully, as concerned/angry doesn’t quite describe it – by the changes to King’s Square. They didn’t realise that there had been a consultation about that project. More community ‘engagement’ means more chance of more of us having a city we can feel happy about, rather than feeling angry, disenfranchised and ignored.

. . . . .

About Lisa @YorkStories

Lisa @YorkStories is the creator, administrator, and writer of content on She can be contacted on this link or via Twitter, @YorkStories
To link to this page's proper location please use the > permalink

One comment

  1. So they are reducing the parking bay in exhibition square?? Seems like only 5 minutes since they put the bay in! I’m all for it , reduce it and also get rid of them sightseeing buses!! Sick of been pestered weekly by some woman in a red jacket pushing a leaflet in my face! And then having to tell her “I LIVE HERE!” plus call me whatever but I think it’s much better seen on foot , walk round the walls if you wanna see the true beauty of it all , and to be honest that’s all your getting on that bus is a drive round the walls!! Yeah maybe a bit of a rant but am fed up of the way York is going now 53 years in and it’s been ruined by numpties who ain’t even from here :(

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Thank you for adding a comment. Please note that comments are moderated, but should appear within 24 hours.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.