Key milestone reached for £25m project to radically transform city gateway

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Work to transform the arrival to York’s 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 improved access for all modes of transport while revealing hidden sections of the city’s walls.

The York Station regeneration project, which has been developed by the council in partnership with 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 £25m, 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:

  • Redevelopment of the areas to the front of the station, creating a better environment for people changing between different modes of transport
  • 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
  • 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.”

Cllr 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, added: “We’re delighted to be working 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.”