New signs on the blocks for York counter-terrorism initiative


Ugly concrete blocks installed around York city street to prevent vehicular access have received an attractive facelift, thanks to the team at York BID.

Grey and striped concrete blocks around the city have been wrapped with attractive signage directing visitors to key parts of the city.

The blocks were installed on key streets in the city centre as a security measure to deter the threat of vehicular attacks, but were unattractive additions to the historic streets city streets.

Carl Alsop, operations manager for the York Business Improvement District, worked with City of York Council to wrap the blocks in something that is both durable and attractive.  

“The blocks are now an essential part of city centre security, but we saw an opportunity to use them to help guide visitors around the city streets – highlighting areas like Goodramgate, Swinegate and Micklegate," he said.  

"There are so few options for directional signage in many streets in York, this enables us to add a further, helpful element to encourage people to explore different parts of the city in a very practical way, and without adding any further obstructions to York’s pavements.

“We’ve also worked with city experts to add interesting facts that even long-term residents might not have known – a fun way to get to know the city even better!”


‘Stay, shop and socialise’


The blocks have been wrapped with York BID’s ‘Stay, shop and socialise’ information panels, with the potential to wrap additional blocks if the pilot scheme proves successful.

“Improving the appearance and environment for the city is one of the key areas that York BID was set up to tackle, and this is a simple but effective way of not only improving the look of the streets, but also supporting retailers and restaurants on quieter streets,” adds York BID’s executive director, Andrew Lowson.

“Each of the signs has been produced to reflect light, too, so they are clearly visible to cars and delivery vehicles which access the streets outside of the normal foot street hours, so the unsightly large plastic barriers can also be removed.”

York BID is also partnering with City of York Council on a wider city wayfinding scheme, with councillors approving £350,000 of match funding from the 2019/20 budget.  

The pilot wayfinding totem, in St Helen’s Square outside the Mansion House, has been well received, with the city-wide roll out due to be completed within the next year.

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