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From bollards to bones: Here’s everything you need to know about the Shambles roadworks

Medieval bones have been found during the installation of anti-terror barriers in the Shambles


Historic bones, thought to be medieval, have been discovered in the Shambles during the installation of anti-terror barriers.

Types of anti-terror barriers, including sliding bollards, are being implemented across York after police said they were needed.

Installation works on the Shambles are expected to be completed by Friday 6th October.

Historic bones were discovered on Thursday 21st September in the process of installing anti-terror measures on the Pavement end of the Shambles.

The implementation of anti-terror measures on the Shambles started on 11th September. Sliding bollards designed to prevent hostile vehicle attacks are currently being installed.

The bone fragments are thought to come from the neighbouring medieval St Crux burial ground, and have been sent to the York Archaeological Trust for analysis, say York City Council.

The Pavement end was closed to pedestrians for several weeks for works to take place, causing larger crowds than usual in the narrow streets of the Shambles. However, one main access point at the Newgate end and six other access points have remained open.

The Pavement end has now reopened while works continue.

Due to the archaeological finds and challenging ground conditions, work hours were extended by the council in an effort to finish the installation on schedule.  Work is now taking place from 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm on Saturdays

The Shambles installation is expected to be complete by 6th October.

The Pavement end has reopened while works are still going ahead.

Anti-terror barriers designed to prevent hostile vehicle attacks are being installed throughout York. City of York Council say these measures are similar to those installed in other British cities.

Installations of sliding bollards at the Pavement end of the Shambles come after completed works at High Petergate, Lendal, and Spurriergate, with extended works on Goodramgate still ongoing.

Work began in April this year, aiming to be fully completed ahead of the Christmas market. However, with delays it is unlikely that the installation on Blake Street will be finished before January 2024.

Barriers installed along Spurriergate

Previous attempts to install anti-terror barriers at the Pavement end of the Shambles caused an outcry in November 2021.

Traders said the barriers would block deliveries to their shops in the lead up to Christmas, the busiest retail weeks of the year.

There were also concerns about how the large obstacles would restrict wheelchair users from accessing the Shambles, and that pedestrians would be forced into a tight space at a time when Covid was still a pressing concern.

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