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Agenda item

Consideration of Changes to the City Centre Traffic Regulation Order

The Corporate Director of Place to present a report that considers the future operation of the footstreets, which are those streets that are pedestrianised streets during certain hours in the city centre. 

 

Decision:

Resolved:  Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) and Future Blue Badge Access to Footstreets

 

(i)      That the responses to the statutory consultation on the removal of blue badge exemptions permitting access to footstreets during pedestrianised hours be noted.

 

Reason:     To recognise the statutory consultation process as part of decision making.

 

(ii)      That the impact of the proposals on Blue Badge holders and the disabled community, as identified through the statutory consultation and the wider engagement work the council has undertaken, be taken into account, noting that some members of this community have made clear that removal of the exemption will remove their ability to access the footstreets, as set out and duly considered within the Equalities Impact Assessment at Annex AA to the report.

 

Reason:     To recognise the Council’s duties under the Equalities Act and Human Rights Act and to ensure that the Council strikes the a proportionate balance between the rights of individuals and the interests of the community and to have due regard to the impacts that the proposals will have on some members of a community with a protected characteristic.

 

(iii)     That, having considered (i) and (ii) above, officers’ recommendation to remove the exemption on vehicles displaying a Blue Badge from accessing Blake Street, Church Street, Colliergate, Goodramgate between Deangate and Church Street, King’s Square, Lendal, St Andrewgate between its junction with King’s Square and a point 50 metres north east and St Helen’s Square during the pedestrian hours be accepted and approved.

 

(iv)    That all remaining vehicle access exemptions, such as bullion vehicles, be reviewed to explore how they can be removed or discouraged to protect the integrity of the counter-terrorism measures, and that a report be brought back on a date to be agreed with the Executive Member for Transport, to ensure that the police advice is followed in full.

 

Reason:     To protect more of the footstreets from the risk of a terrorist attack, recognising the responsibilities of the council in relation to the European Convention of Human Rights Article 2, The Right to Life - this article places a positive duty on the state to protect life whilst considering the council’s Equalities Duty.

 

(v)     That, having considered (i) and (ii) above, officers’ recommendation not to proceed with a permanent change to remove blue badge access to Castlegate at this stage be accepted and approved.

 

Reason:     The case for change at Castlegate is presented in the Castle Gateway Masterplan.  Any proposals for this location need to be considered once a delivery and phasing plan for the Castle Gateway project is approved.

 

(vi)    That the additional Blue Badge parking that formed part of the statutory consultation be implemented, with the exception of the two bays on St Andrewgate nearest to its junction with Bartle Garth.

 

Reason:     Recognising the consultation comments relating to St Andrewgate, and because the bays nearest to the junction with Bartle Garth cause an obstruction to vehicles and cycles as well as hindering access in/out of a private drive.

 

(vii)    That, should the Active Travel Fund bid to Improve Disabled Access Routes into and around the city centre (including improved paving and dropped kerbs) be unsuccessful, authority be delegated to the Executive Member for Transport to reprioritise existing transport funding of £250,000, to ensure that this key element of the action plan in the Strategic Review of City Centre Access is delivered.

 

Reason:     Recognising the impact that removing the exemption on vehicles displaying a blue badge from accessing the pedestrian area will have on the disabled community.  Implementing these measures will improve access to the city centre.

 

(viii)   That businesses be informed of, and given the option to comment on, the permanent HVM plans and specific barrier placements before these are brought to Executive for approval.

 

Reason:     To enable businesses affected by the proposals to have an input.

 

Permanent Footstreet Hours

 

(ix)    That a statutory consultation be commenced on a permanent change to footstreet hours, to be from 10:30 am to 7:00pm.

 

Reason:     To give effect to the My City Centre Vision, which has an aspiration for long-term footstreet hours that run until 7pm, which was supported in the My City Centre consultation.

 

Covid Response Recommendations

 

(x)     That it be agreed that Blue Badge access and parking will continue to be suspended on Castlegate until the end of September 2022, at which point Blue Badge exemptions to allow access will return and existing pavement café licenses granted to parklets on the street will not be renewed.

 

(xi)    That a further temporary extension of footstreet hours to 8:00 pm be approved through to the end of the calendar year.

 

Reason:     To extend the existing footstreet hours in line with Christmas Markets.

 

(xii)    That a further temporary extension of footstreet pedestrian hours to 7:00pm be approved from January 2022 through to the end of September 2022, in line with the government’s legislation for pavement café licenses, and that pavement café licenses be rescinded and re-issued with an amended finish of 8:00 pm instead of 7:00 pm.

 

Reason:     Extending the existing footstreet hours in line with the government extension for pavement cafés will allow the temporary pavement café licences that have been awarded to continue, and amending the time to match the proposed permanent change to footstreet hours avoids confusion.

Minutes:

The Corporate Director of Place presented a report that considered the future operation of the footstreets, being those streets in the city centre that are pedestrianised during certain hours of the day.  Members were asked to decide upon the time until which the footstreet hours should operate, the extent of counter-terrorism measures, and mitigations to improve access to the city centre, particularly for disabled people, should the officer recommendations be agreed.

 

In 2018, Executive had approved the first phase of hostile vehicle mitigation measures in response to counter-terrorism advice.  These had retained the exemption allowing blue badge holders access to park on certain footstreets during pedestrianised hours, while identifying those streets for future phases.  More recently, the exemption had been removed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic via a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) to increase space for social distancing, in line with government guidance.  The TTRO had also extended the pedestrianised hours to 8pm. In July 2021, a statutory consultation had begun on proposals to remove the exemption permanently, with mitigations.  Details of the responses to consultation were set out in paragraphs 59-88 of the report, and in the report annexes.

 

In presenting the report, officers recognised that for some the effects of removing the exemption could not be mitigated.  They also referred to their revised proposals, prepared in response to the advice of the Customer & Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee (CCSMC) and published in Agenda Supplement 2.  Supt. Mark Palmer of North Yorkshire Police commented on the proposals from a police perspective, in view of the recent increase of the UK terrorism threat to severe.  In response to Members’ questions, it was confirmed that:

·        Advice on anti-terror protection had shifted towards protecting publicly accessible land, with footstreets a priority;

·        Cities across the UK and Europe were moving towards hostile vehicle mitigation measures;

·        The risk profile of authorities varied, so that measures in Bath, Chester etc. would not be identical to those in York;

 

Having noted the comments made on this item under Public Participation, the comments of the Police at the meeting, and the advice of CCSMC, officers’ responses and legal advice published in the agenda supplements, it was

 

Resolved:  Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) and Future Blue Badge Access to Footstreets

 

(i)      That the responses to the statutory consultation on the removal of blue badge exemptions permitting access to footstreets during pedestrianised hours be noted.

 

Reason:     To recognise the statutory consultation process as part of decision making.

 

(ii)      That the impact of the proposals on Blue Badge holders and the disabled community, as identified through the statutory consultation and the wider engagement work the council has undertaken, be taken into account, noting that some members of this community have made clear that removal of the exemption will remove their ability to access the footstreets, as set out and duly considered within the Equalities Impact Assessment at Annex AA to the report.

 

Reason:     To recognise the Council’s duties under the Equalities Act and Human Rights Act and to ensure that the Council strikes the a proportionate balance between the rights of individuals and the interests of the community and to have due regard to the impacts that the proposals will have on some members of a community with a protected characteristic.

 

(iii)     That, having considered (i) and (ii) above, officers’ recommendation to remove the exemption on vehicles displaying a Blue Badge from accessing Blake Street, Church Street, Colliergate, Goodramgate between Deangate and Church Street, King’s Square, Lendal, St Andrewgate between its junction with King’s Square and a point 50 metres north east and St Helen’s Square during the pedestrian hours be accepted and approved.

 

(iv)    That all remaining vehicle access exemptions, such as bullion vehicles, be reviewed to explore how they can be removed or discouraged to protect the integrity of the counter-terrorism measures, and that a report be brought back on a date to be agreed with the Executive Member for Transport, to ensure that the police advice is followed in full.

 

Reason:     To protect more of the footstreets from the risk of a terrorist attack, recognising the responsibilities of the council in relation to the European Convention of Human Rights Article 2, The Right to Life - this article places a positive duty on the state to protect life whilst considering the council’s Equalities Duty.

 

(v)     That, having considered (i) and (ii) above, officers’ recommendation not to proceed with a permanent change to remove blue badge access to Castlegate at this stage be accepted and approved.

 

Reason:     The case for change at Castlegate is presented in the Castle Gateway Masterplan.  Any proposals for this location need to be considered once a delivery and phasing plan for the Castle Gateway project is approved.

 

(vi)    That the additional Blue Badge parking that formed part of the statutory consultation be implemented, with the exception of the two bays on St Andrewgate nearest to its junction with Bartle Garth.

 

Reason:     Recognising the consultation comments relating to St Andrewgate, and because the bays nearest to the junction with Bartle Garth cause an obstruction to vehicles and cycles as well as hindering access in/out of a private drive.

 

(vii)    That, should the Active Travel Fund bid to Improve Disabled Access Routes into and around the city centre (including improved paving and dropped kerbs) be unsuccessful, authority be delegated to the Executive Member for Transport to reprioritise existing transport funding of £250,000, to ensure that this key element of the action plan in the Strategic Review of City Centre Access is delivered.

 

Reason:     Recognising the impact that removing the exemption on vehicles displaying a blue badge from accessing the pedestrian area will have on the disabled community.  Implementing these measures will improve access to the city centre.

 

(viii)   That businesses be informed of, and given the option to comment on, the permanent HVM plans and specific barrier placements before these are brought to Executive for approval.

 

Reason:     To enable businesses affected by the proposals to have an input.

 

Permanent Footstreet Hours

 

(ix)    That a statutory consultation be commenced on a permanent change to footstreet hours, to be from 10:30 am to 7:00pm.

 

Reason:     To give effect to the My City Centre Vision, which has an aspiration for long-term footstreet hours that run until 7pm, which was supported in the My City Centre consultation.

 

Covid Response Recommendations

 

(x)     That it be agreed that Blue Badge access and parking will continue to be suspended on Castlegate until the end of September 2022, at which point Blue Badge exemptions to allow access will return and existing pavement café licenses granted to parklets on the street will not be renewed.

 

(xi)    That a further temporary extension of footstreet hours to 8:00 pm be approved through to the end of the calendar year.

 

Reason:     To extend the existing footstreet hours in line with Christmas Markets.

 

(xii)    That a further temporary extension of footstreet pedestrian hours to 7:00pm be approved from January 2022 through to the end of September 2022, in line with the government’s legislation for pavement café licenses, and that pavement café licenses be rescinded and re-issued with an amended finish of 8:00 pm instead of 7:00 pm.

 

Reason:     Extending the existing footstreet hours in line with the government extension for pavement cafés will allow the temporary pavement café licences that have been awarded to continue, and amending the time to match the proposed permanent change to footstreet hours avoids confusion.

Supporting documents:

 

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