LNER, Network Rail and WYCA are funding works with York Council. Credit: YCC

Sisk secures York civils work

Construction group John Sisk & Son has been awarded a £7.8m highways contract within the £25.7m York Station Gateway project.

York Station Gateway is being delivered in partnership with West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Network Rail and London North Eastern Railway.

The highway works include the removal of Queen Street bridge, realignment of Queen Street, creation of Station Square and improvements to cycle and pedestrian routes.

Project partner LNER will go out to tender for the remaining station works phase of the project later this year.

The York Station Gateway project aims to improve access to the station, by providing an easier and safer experience for people walking, cycling and using the bus, as well as new spaces for taxi drivers

It will also Introduce new public spaces, including Station Square, and provide an improved setting for the City Walls and other heritage assets.

Key elements:

The Victorian Queen Street bridge was built when trains used the lines through to the old railway station, currently the council’s West Offices. It has not been needed since the 1960s. The bridge is close to the base of the city walls, hiding a large section from view and obscuring several of the Victorian railway-era York Railway Institute buildings. Removing the bridge will dramatically improve the setting of the city walls, said the partners.

Also set for change is the taxi and drop-off area. The portico currently fulfilling this role is essentially swamped, obstructing pedestrian access and having poor air quality.

The taxi ranks and public pick-up and drop-offs will be moved to an open and spacious area to the side of the station entrance, which will be served by a one-way loop road around the York Railway Institute gym.

The space for the new taxi rank/drop-off point will be made by removing the current Parcel Square buildings, currently occupied by Cycle Heaven. After the reorganisation of Parcel Square, the station façade would be sympathetically restored.

In addition, moving around the various parts, and removing the bridge, will create space for an improved bus hub.

The interior of the portico is being developed in another phase which is led by the station operator, LNER.

Over the past year utilities companies have been carrying out enabling works around Queen Street Bridge ahead of the main works starting later this year. These enabling works are now complete and Sisk will begin pre-construction activities with the aim of starting work on site in the coming weeks.

Cllr Pete Kilbane, York’s deputy leader and executive member for transport & economy, said: “York Railway station has welcomed visitors and business to our city since 1877 and this project is among the most significant of many changes since then. As well as the transport improvements and welcoming, world-class public spaces, York will see major economic and social benefits, alongside the development of York Central.

“There are still some issues to be resolved, most notably around Blue Badge parking, but I am hugely grateful to everyone involved in the project who has helped us get to this point. We will be doing the work with our partners, as well as our new contractor, and continue to engage with local residents to try and minimise disruption.”

The appointment follows Sisk winning another prestige civils job in the region, landing a £25m contract around Sheffield’s Fargate in May. The group is also working on a major infrastructure package at York Central, the £2.5bn regeneration masterplan close to York station.

Andrew Langley, major projects director on the firms’ civils division, said: “It is fantastic to be involved in this transformative scheme, opening up the area around the station to help create a new gateway to the city.

“We will engage closely with the travelling public, business owners and residents of York to minimise disruption, and continue our engagement with local schools, employment providers, and community projects in York.”

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