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Work on King's Square in York to Start Next Month

Kings Square 170513

2:13pm 17th May 2013

Works to transform one of York’s most popular city centre public spaces will start next month with the repaving and remodelling of King’s Square that will improve pedestrian access, provide additional seating and ample space for performers.

The 12-week phased programme of works starts on Monday 3 June until mid August.  

Members approved plans to take forwards the preferred design at a Cabinet meeting in April, which will now see approximately £490,000 (out of previously agreed funding) invested into the square from the Reinvigorate York initiative/budget.

Sir Ron Cooke, chair of Reinvigorate York, said: “There are two main challenges in King's Square, and both have arisen since the square was first created in its present form in the 1970s. The first is that its popularity has grown, leading to overcrowding and competition for space amongst both providers of services and users. The second is that, largely as a result of the first, it is shabby, cluttered and in need of repairs. The new plan attempts to overcome these challenges, in particular through creating more space, and improving its quality.”

Councillor Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Planning, Sustainability and Transport at City of York Council, said: “The quality of York’s inner city public spaces are fundamental to sustaining the city’s present and future prosperity and it is important to most people who live, work, visit and invest here.

“King’s Square needs quite a radical rethink to make it a world-class space. We are going to provide a much better quality public space, and will address some of the current problems for less abled members of the community. We will be making the whole area look as one, with more space for pedestrians so as to maximise the benefits for residents, visitors and businesses.”

Reinvigorate York will provide a lasting legacy, enhancing the public realm and supporting city centre retailers and attractions.

The three main objectives of Reinvigorate York remain:

  • To improve the circulation in the city centre (of pedestrians, cars, cyclists and public transport)
  • To restore and enhance the city centre’s public spaces (street furniture, signage, paving, clutter, etc)
  • To achieve other improvements that will help enhance the tourist, retail and cultural experience of visitors, residents and people working in the city centre.

Significant improvements have already been made across the inner city centre since the initiative launched with re-paving areas of the city, the introduction of new benches and lights, and the removal of a number of bollards, railings and signs, which over the years have created unnecessary and unsightly cluttering of places like Parliament Street, King’s Square, Colliergate, and Duncombe Place/ Museum Street.

Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout the works, both through the area and to individual premises at all times, although restrictions will in place for vehicular access. King’s Square will be maintained as a through route for traffic until week commencing 29 July when a full closure will apply to enable carriageway works to be completed. During this period a signed diversion route will be provided.

During the works provisons will be made to ensure kiosk holders can trade from alternative locations. For more details about the scheme please visit www.york.gov.uk//reinvigorateyork

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