In addition to installing traffic calming measures in central York before Christmas, in light of the current national terrorist threat level which remains at ‘severe’ meaning an attack is highly likely, the police have provided advice to the council to further limit vehicle access to key areas in the city.
The proposals will engage communities while ensuring the city and those in it are safe, through a review of how vehicles access the city centre and areas adjacent to the Minster and York Racecourse on race days. This would be carried out in line with police advice.
To be developed in consultation with key partners, including North Yorkshire Police, York BID, Make It York, York Minster and York Racecourse, the review will need to be sensitive to and respect local communities, businesses and York’s historic environment. To achieve this, temporary measures and a phased approach may be required to properly test and refine the proposals.
While the number of vehicles in the city centre is already limited at busy times, traffic calming measures will - as they did at Christmas 2017 - help to keep pedestrians even safer while allowing delivery vehicles controlled entry at permitted times. Potential changes to traffic restrictions may impact on disabled parking locations as well as traders and businesses who may need to adjust delivery arrangements.
As risks around York Racecourse peak on race days, proposals can be trialled and refined over a year to achieve the appropriate balance between community requirements, traffic flow impacts and public safety in that area. Meanwhile, officers will continue to work with the Minster to develop proposals for vehicle restrictions in its vicinity and approaches.
Cllr Ian Gillies, executive member for transport and planning at City of York Council, said: “Our priority is the safety and security of all those attending or involved in events in York, and residents and visitors are encouraged to continue with plans to attend or take part as normal.
“Terror attacks in the UK, while very rare, understandably create great concern. With our partners, and most especially the police, we want to deter any would-be attackers and reassure the public that we are alert to the risks and are working to help protect them.”
Superintendent Lindsey Robson, of North Yorkshire Police’s York and Selby Command said: “The threat level for the whole of the UK from international terrorism remains at ‘Severe’, meaning an attack is highly likely. Therefore, like all forces, we continue to take appropriate steps to protect our communities.
“The safety of those who live, work and visit York is our main priority and our security measures and activities are constantly reviewed to reflect where the threats exist.
“As always, we continue to advise the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour or activity to police, in confidence on 0800 789 321 or gov.uk/ACT or, in an emergency, the public should always call 999.”