Work to transform the arrival to York’s historic railway station has taken another step forward, as the council’s Executive agreed plans to progress the scheme.
At the meeting senior councillors received an update on the project, which will see Queen Street bridge removed and the whole station entrance reorganised to improve the experience for everyone using the station.
Earlier this year, the planning application to modernise the arrival to the station was approved. This also included plans to remove the Queen Street bridge, which hasn’t been needed since trains stopped passing under it in the 1960s. Removing the bridge will create space for vastly improved access for all modes of transport while revealing hidden sections of the city’s historic walls.
The York Station regeneration project, which has been developed by the council in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Network Rail and LNER, will change and improve the entrance to the railway station, to:
- keep vehicles and pedestrians apart
- make it easier to change between different modes of transport
- create new public spaces and a more pedestrian-friendly experience
- create an improved setting for the City Walls and other heritage buildings in the area
The Executive agreed to enter into funding and development agreements with LNER and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to progress a key part of the project to relocate part of the station building.
The full scheme which is valued at over £25 million, is funded by the West Yorkshire and York Transport Fund and the Leeds City Region Transforming Cities Fund, which is aimed at helping more people to walk, cycle and use public transport.
The scheme includes:
- the redevelopment of the areas to the front of the station, creating a better environment for people changing between different modes of transport
- the provision of new station buildings
- more space, creating an improved environment for walking and cycling
- a re-located bus interchange, taxi rank, passenger drop-off and short stay car park
- the redevelopment of Tea Room Square to create a safer and more attractive shared space
- resurfacing the station portico
Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said: “This is another significant step forward in the project to transform York’s historic railway station.
“The station front upgrade will not only provide a much needed modernisation of the station and surrounding area, creating a fitting gateway to our beautiful city, but it is also an integral part of the wider York Central scheme.
“The progress of this major project is a testament to the work of the council and its partners. We are hugely grateful to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Network Rail and LNER for their efforts to bring this ambitious project to life.”
Councillor Andy D’Agorne, Deputy Leader of City of York Council, said: “York station has welcomed visitors and business to the city since 1877, whilst undergoing several redesigns to ensure it is fit for purpose.
“The station front upgrade project will improve the user experience of the station as well as make active and sustainable travel much more attractive, including opening up a new route underneath the City Walls.”
The project is directly linked to the York Central Access scheme, which will redevelop the land to the rear of the station. The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has agreed initial funding to place orders with statutory utilities and to finalise land purchasing negotiations.
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with City of York Council, Network Rail and LNER on this important scheme, which will make it easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport.
“It is more important than ever that we continue to invest in a modern, accessible transport network, which supports economic growth by connecting more people with jobs, training and education.”
Sarah Reid, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said: “We’re delighted that this vital project has taken another key step forward.
“This scheme will better welcome visitors to this historic city, make onward travel much easier, and create a more pleasant environment for everyone using the station.”
Claire Ansley, LNER Customer Experience Director, said: “We are pleased that plans to improve the area to the front of York station have taken an important step forward. Once delivered, the changes will complement the improvements LNER has made to the inside of the station, ensuring that all visitors and customers have a special, warm welcome as they arrive in the city”
You can view the Executive meeting online via webcasts, which took place on 18 November.
Photo credit: Network Rail