Work began today (September 11) in Shambles to install anti-terrorism bollards, which have already been installed elsewhere in the city.
The bollards are part of York City Council’s hostile vehicle containment program introduced by the previous Liberal Democrat Green government to combat the threat of “vehicle-as-weapon attacks”.
The entrance to Shambles from Pavement will be closed to pedestrians and vehicles during the work, which is expected to last four weeks.
There are diversion signs outside the factory directing pedestrians towards Colliergate.
But Phil Pinder, founder of the Shambles Area Trader’s Association, felt the signs did not clearly identify alternative entrances to the road, such as via Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate.
Against this background, he said that pedestrians had resorted to exiting the street through the courtyard of St. Crux Church and dropping from the wall onto the sidewalk.
Mr Pinder, co-owner of Potions Cauldron in Shambles, said the work would have a financial impact on traders.
“The council has bitten off more than it can bear,” he said.
“How they could close the (sidewalk entrance) to pedestrians on the busiest street in York, on one of the oldest streets in Europe, is ridiculous.”
The business owner said he recognized the need to protect York from the threat of terrorism but believed installing bollards in Shambles was an “overzealous” approach by the council.
He added that some traders in Shambles plan to take legal action against York City Council over the closure.
Mr Pinder also said the work had made access to the road difficult for wheelchair users.
“It’s already a difficult street for wheelchairs and this makes it worse,” Mr Pinder said.
He called on the council to improve access to the Shambles via the courtyard of St Crux Church; improving detour signage; Install lowered curbs or ramps for wheelchair users entering via the Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma gate. Install soundproofing around work and adjust barriers around work on non-work weekends to allow pedestrian access
The Press has contacted York City Council for comment.
York City Council’s executive member for economy and transport, Cllr Pete Kilbane, previously said the council’s aim was to improve accessibility to Shambles during the works and “protect people and businesses in the long term”.
“I am sorry for the short-term disruption this work is causing,” he said.
“It sends a clear message to potential terrorists and everyone in the city center that we are taking action, not putting people or businesses at risk and that York remains one of the safest cities in the UK.”
Neil Ferris, local director at York City Council, said: “We recognize the impact this important work is having on businesses and residents in the city center and we apologize.”
“We have worked hard with the contractor to maximize safe public access – often in confined spaces – and minimize the length of time the works take, whilst maintaining standards without incurring significant costs to the scheme.”
https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/23781187.york-shambles-closes-one-end-anti-terror-bollard-work/?ref=rss York Shambles will be closed at one end for anti-terrorism bollard work