Issue - decisions
City Centre Access – Action Plan Update
Resolved: (i) That approval be given to commence consultation on the proposed ‘City of York Guidance and Conditions for Pavement Cafes’.
(ii) That a report be brought to Executive in November on the outcome of the consultation (the new ‘City of York Guidance and Conditions for Pavement Cafes’ to be considered at that meeting would take effect in January 2023 if approved).
(iii) That it be noted that the Government regulatory framework for Pavement Cafes remains uncertain, as the current emergency legislation expires in September 2022 and the new legislation proposed is unlikely to be implemented by this date.
Reason: To ensure the decision making on pavement cafes reflects the current situation and the needs of all city centre users.
(iv) That the update on the ‘City Centre Access – Action Plan’ at Annex A be noted.
(v) That the planned commissioning of an Access Specialist Consultant be noted and the prioritised work programme, as set out in the report, be approved.
(vi) That the programme of dropped kerbs for autumn this year and spring 2023 be noted.
(vii) That the work to develop the feasibility of the City Centre Bus Shuttle be brought forward in advance of the original funding source being achieved (this will be co-produced with stakeholders, including the look and feel of vehicles and will require input from an access specialist along with transport input, which will be funded from transport reserves).
(viii) That officers be asked to explore whether the reduction in vehicles within the City Centre enforced in the future through Hostile Vehicle Mitigation Measures would enable a kerb free design to be implemented in the footstreet area.
Reason: To accelerate the delivery of the ‘City Centre Access – Action Plan’ including bringing forward the Feasibility Study of a City Centre Bus Shuttle in the absence of Bus Service Improvement Plan funding being available. If a kerb free design is possible in the footstreets, the Levelling Up bid for the City Centre, if successful, could help deliver elements of this.
(ix) That any decision to undertake statutory traffic regulation order consultation on a permanent change in footstreet hours to 7.00pm be postponed until the Executive have had the opportunity to consider the lived experience of the pavement cafes under the new guidance, and until there is more clarity about the long term legislative framework and progress has been made in delivering the City Centre Access – Action Plan.
Reason: The major benefit of 7:00 pm is the extended hours in which pavement cafes can operate. Given the uncertainty over the national regulatory framework and the need to carry out work to implement local more accessible guidance, a consultation on footstreet hours is not appropriate and cannot be based upon facts.
(x) That the principle of renewing existing pavement cafes for three months free of charge but restricted to the footstreet hours be approved, and that it be noted that footstreet hours will revert to their normal 5:00 pm in October 2022 but be temporarily extended to 8:00 pm in November for the Christmas Market to end of December 2022.
Reason: Given the uncertainty over national legislation this decision adds a degree of assurance for pavement cafes and allows the council time to consult on its own new guidance and conditions for pavement cafés.