The proposals for York Station Front are based on 8 key features which improve the use of space – here is the local party’s response:
“Overall we support the proposals to remove the Queen St Bridge, open up access to the city centre through the Victorian arch under the walls and segregate cycle routes away from the buses. We also support the removal of traffic from Tea Room Square and the relocation of the taxi rank to improve air quality and safety within the station entrance area. Relocating short stay parking and bus stops to the south of the entrance makes sense and provides environmental benefits. However we have a number of concerns about the detail of these proposals, not least that we should learn from the 2005 experience of proposing changes that don’t take full account of the likely expansion of use of rail travel.
Bus Provision: We share the concerns of the York Civic Trust planning committee submission, that combined provision to the west and east of the station needs to model the likely bus use which suggests as many as 6 stops in each direction at the Queen St side. We are strongly of the view that provision for people to interchange easily between bus- rail and bus-bus is more important than the current proposal to retain over 700 long stay parking places (plus a similar number of spaces for the NRM/Network Rail on the York Central side of the station). Potential designs for a full bus interchange next to the station should be carefully evaluated before committing to the current layout. This would simplify the layout and ease with which visitors can locate their bus and allow for change of direction by services without the need for a loop around the site. It might also facilitate on road areas being used for tourist buses, deliveries, drop off and pick up etc.
Parking: We feel that short stay parking may need to be slightly increased, but long stay could be reduced to 100 – 200 spaces in conjunction with an executive (24 hour airport style) park and ride service serving the station on a regular frequency, linked to times of arrival of significant rail services. This would have a major benefit of reduced congestion and pollution in the area and could potentially also serve key city centre offices and places of entertainment.
Cycling: The segregated design is a step forward, removing some of the conflicting movements near bus stops. However tying in to a safe design at the Lendal Gyratory and Blossom St junctions will be crucial – for example advance cycle lights and feeder lane at the junction. As an alternative the Hudson House route has the potential to link into routes away from busy traffic through Bishophill if properly designed and signed. The ‘super- crossing’ near the entrance is likely to be used by many cyclists who should be given a clearly delineated section of the crossing, leading to a clearly marked wide cyclepath through Tea Room Square to reach the cycle parking or access the route to Scarborough Bridge. Loading arrangements in Tea Room Square need to be considered and restricted at peak times. Police parking should be relocated to the south as part of the short stay parking provision. The current design near the mouth of the entrance to short stay parking needs to be revised to segregate cycle and pedestrian movements and potentially signalise this (?) to avoid recreating the current confusion and congestion that takes place at the entrance to Tea Room Square.
New routes: We support the idea of at least investigating provision of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge from the southern part of the site, potentially connect with the Lowther Terrace access from Holgate Rd and could enhance walking and cycling between York Central and the area south of the station.
General Landscaping: With climate change it will be important to consider appropriate soft as well as hard landscaping including tree planting to provide shade and moisture retention eg for the paved areas. The natural slope of the banks below the walls provides scope for floral and water features especially on either side of the Victorian arch, leading the eye to the new pedestrian route into the city centre.”