The Castle Gateway is not just about gathering and spending time in the area itself, it is also about movement to and through to areas beyond. Creating a porous space where people can access the areas from all sides and intuitively find their way to where they are going. Signposting should complement clear routes.
Bringing the Open Brief to life. In the future, what are people doing?
People are walking to and through the sites from all directions, including through a new entrance to the area through the Castle Walls. #GatheringPlace #GatheringOnTheMove
As people come down Coney Street they are immediately clear that the city centre does not end there and that there are more delights – the Castle and Eye of York – beyond. #GatheringPlace #GatheringOnTheMove
Cyclists are parking their bikes, either in secure cycle parking for longer stays (and more expensive bikes) or in easy to use open racks which are situated next to the main destinations in the area. #GatheringPlace #GatheringOnTheMove
Cyclists who use their bikes for mobility are able to cycle at all times of days to and through the area as part of making York accessible for all. #GatheringPlace #GatheringOnTheMove #GatheringAccessibly
People who are blind or partially-sighted are using textured and high contrast designs in the public spaces to navigate to and through the area. Families are also using this as they move through the area. Children are laughing, swerving and grabbing their parents’ hands as they try to stay on the line or within certain colour blocks. #GatheringPlace #GatheringOnTheMove #GatheringAccessibly
Visitors – sighted, partially sighted and blind – arriving at the Railway Station immediately find the route to the Castle and Eye of York area. The route is high contrast, clear but also fun and means children run alongside and point out where to go next to their parents. #GatheringPlace #GatheringOnTheMove #GatheringAccessibly
Movement: Design Challenges
- The open spaces should be structured to make movement intuitive and easy (the paths in Museum Gardens is a good example). All elements of the design – for example, surfacing and enclosure – should make the purposes of the space clear and should be part of a consistent design language. Routes for movement should be intuitive, places to sit should be obvious (but can also be playful), areas should be defined to encourage performance (for example by street artists) or siting of stalls. It is important that tactile routes are never crossed by stalls or other temporary structures.
- Approaches that work for people who are blind and partially sighted should also be playful and fun for families, they should both be a means of increasing accessibility and part of the brand and fun of the area. These include tactile paths, well-structured space and landmarks that can be used for navigation.
- National standards for tactile paving should be used.
- This design work for the area needs to be considered in terms of navigation towards the area from bus stops and from further beyond, from the Railway Station, from the centre of town and both directions along the Foss. Key points of difficulty have been noted – for example the end of Coney Street and junction with Castlegate / Clifford Street. Ways of improving the crossing of Coppergate at different points should be carefully considered. All of these must be seen as a process of connecting Castle Gateway to the rest of the city centre, and exploring opportunities for these connecting routes – Clifford Street, Castlegate, Coppergate – to be improved to become part of a broader destination, rather than just “a route to” Castle Gateway.
- There should be cycle parking in locations within the Castle Gateway where people would want to transfer from cycle to walking, not simply where it can be hidden away. This means finding locations near the entrances to the main attractions, and providing adequate parking so cycles are not locked in inconvenient or dangerous places due to overcrowding. Cycle parking needs adequate provision for “non-standard” cycles such as cargo bikes or trikes.
- There is also a need for secure cycle parking. One or more designated areas for this are needed which could be further away from the main attractions as people who want to use secure cycle parking tend to be more committed cyclists and therefore convenience is not the only issue.
- Routes for cycling should be provided which allow access for people who use cycling for mobility. These routes should also work for families cycling together. These routes should be open all day and night and while all cycle routes should be of generous width, in these instances avoiding conflict with pedestrians is especially important.