Cllr Melly, Labour spokesperson for transport, and equalities
Cllr Melly, Labour spokesperson for transport, and equalities

North Yorkshire Police has confirmed there was no specific terrorism threat to York despite the prospect of a hostile vehicle attack being the main justification for banning blue badge holders from large parts of York city centre.

The council’s main opposition Labour Group has recently confirmed it will reverse the Lib Dem-Green council’s city centre access ban on blue badge holders should it take control of City of York Council following the 2023 local elections.

The announcement comes as it emerged that no local risk assessment was undertaken on the terrorist threat to York when ruling Lib Dem and Green councillors agreed the ban last November.


Labour Group Leader Cllr Pete Kilbane said:

“North Yorkshire Police has been clear that the council should have undertaken a specific risk assessment for York city centre prior to considering anti-terror measure access restrictions, but no such assessment publicly exists. 

“This suggests that the level of threat wasn’t a primary consideration for ruling councillors – or if it was, it was imagined, as we now know there was no specific threat to York and no local risk assessments undertaken to properly understand the threat.   

“The discovery that the council cut corners to get to this decision adds further insult to the injury suffered by those disabled people who’ve been locked out of the city centre.

“Labour takes the terror threat extremely seriously, but we believe the council has jumped to a blanket ban with insufficient evidence because it was the easy option.  So if in charge of the council come next May, Labour will ensure this discriminatory decision is overturned.

“We’re confident there’s a way to address the terror threat while maintaining access, where the will exists”.


Labour’s transport spokesperson for both equalities and transport, Cllr Rachel Melly said:

“The decision of the Lib Dem-Green Coalition running the council is having a huge and completely unacceptable impact on disabled people.  To make matters worse, ruling councillors are trying to pass the buck to the Police for the decision councillors themselves have taken, when North Yorkshire Police has been crystal clear that it is a local council’s decision. 

“Without a risk assessment of the terror threat to York, the ban can only be seen as a completely disproportionate, and quite possibly illegal response which ruling councillors themselves must shoulder responsibility for.

“Other councils have managed to navigate their way through this tricky process in a way that doesn’t ban disabled people from certain areas.  Unfortunately corner cutting means that isn’t the case in York”.


Labour says the lack of specific threat alongside the absence of any local risk assessments only serves to underline the arbitrary nature of the boundary to the restricted areas.  The topic is expected to be discussed as part of Safer York Partnership’s Bi-Annual Report to the council’s Housing and Community Safety scrutiny meeting this evening.

Labour recently issued a formal statement detailing its commitment to overturning the access ban.

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