Historic bones found next to medieval burial ground at one of Yorkshire’s oldest streets Shambles as working hours to install York city centre safety measures are being extended

Shoppers are pictured on the Shambles. (Pic credit: Simon Hulme)
Shoppers are pictured on the Shambles. (Pic credit: Simon Hulme)

The historic bone fragments are likely to have been part of the neighbouring St Crux burial ground and have been sent for analysis with York Archaeological Trust.

The planned reopening date for pedestrian entry to Shambles has also been announced. While access to all premises remains open at all times, the York BID, FSB and the Council are signposting pedestrian routes into the affected streets and running a shopping promotion to help businesses in the area.

Installation work has finished at High Petergate, Lendal and Spurriergate and work at Goodramgate and the Shambles is underway. To continue work as planned, working hours are being extended on the Shambles and Goodramgate.

From next week at the Shambles, work will take place from 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm on Saturdays. This is due to archaeological finds of bones and challenging ground conditions.

From this week (September 21) on Goodramgate, work will take place 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm on Saturdays. This is due to having to work around complex, existing underground pipes and cables which is extending the work by three weeks until October 31, 2023.

While one of two main access points into the Shambles from Pavement has temporarily closed, there are six other access points which are open as usual and with extra signage. The contractor aims to reopen pedestrian access on one side of the Shambles/Pavement junction as early as possible in the week commencing October 2, 2023. Pedestrian access to all businesses on Goodramgate is open.

To support businesses and residents affected by this essential work, the contractor’s public liaison officer will again visit and talk to them. Where a chat isn’t possible and where there are letter boxes, a letter is hand-delivered.

Executive member for Transport and Economy, Coun Peter Kilbane, said: “We are sorry that the work is having to extend and we’re taking all feasible measures to balance timescales, disruption and project costs.

“This infrastructure is in place to protect the city and while we are supporting businesses with additional signage and partnership promotions, we understand and apologise for its impact.”

Director of Transport, Environment and Planning, James Gilchrist, said: “I want to apologise for this delay and the disruption to city centre businesses and residents while we install these hostile vehicle measures. We continue to work with our contractors to maximise access while minimising delays.

“Working in a historic city centre, we are always mindful of unexpected findings as our work at Shambles and Goodramgate has shown, which is why we’re upping our contractor’s working hours to help mitigate the impact.”