Work to install anti-terrorism bollards in an historic York street has been delayed after bones were found.

And one shop boss said the delay would be a further blow to traders who fear losing business during the work.

The permanent vehicle protective measures are being installed in Shambles, where bones have been found next to a medieval burial ground in the street.

Work was set to have concluded by Friday, October 6, but City of York Council has today (Thursday, September 21) warned that the discovery means this is no longer the case.

Work has seen the entrance to Shambles from Pavement close to both vehicles and pedestrians.

Gazette & Herald: Shambles during the closureShambles during the closure (Image: Dylan Connell)

The council says the contractor carrying out the work hopes to partially reopen the entrance to pedestrians in the week commencing Monday, October 2, but it will remain closed to vehicles until Friday, October 6.

A council spokesperson said 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.

Elsewhere in the city, work to install bollards in Goodramgate has been delayed by three weeks due to contractors having to work around complex, existing underground pipes and cables.

Gazette & Herald: Goodramgate during the closureGoodramgate during the closure (Image: Dylan Connell)

Work has seen a section of the street close to pedestrians. It was due to reopen tomorrow, but the council has said it will now reopen on Friday, October 13.

Working hours are being extended in Shambles and Goodramgate to progress the work.

Gazette & Herald: Work underway in GoodramgateWork underway in Goodramgate (Image: Dylan Connell)

The council says businesses are being kept up to date about the changes.

From next week (Monday, September 25) work in Shambles will take place 8am-7pm Monday–Friday, and 8am–4pm on Saturdays.

In Goodramgate work will take place 8am-7pm Monday–Friday, and 8am–4pm on Saturdays.


Read previous articles about the work:


The council apologised for the disruption and said the contractor’s public liaison officer will visit businesses and talk to them about the closures or leave a letter if no one is available.

Cllr Peter Kilbane, the council’s executive member for transport and economy, 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.”

Gazette & Herald: Cllr Peter Kilbane, the council’s executive member for transport and economyCllr Peter Kilbane, the council’s executive member for transport and economy (Image: Newsquest)

James Gilchrist, director of transport, environment and planning, 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.”

Phil Pinder, founder of Shambles Area Trader’s Association and co-owner of Potions Cauldron in Shambles, previously criticised the council for its communication with traders during the work and said the disruption was having a financial hit on business in Shambles.

Gazette & Herald: Phil Pinder, founder of Shambles Area Trader’s Association and co-owner of Potions CauldronPhil Pinder, founder of Shambles Area Trader’s Association and co-owner of Potions Cauldron (Image: Dylan Connell)

After today’s announcement he told The Press: “It’s not surprising they’ve found bones, there’s a grave yard at the bottom of the street.

“The council told us they found bones in the experimental dig so to find more is not surprising.

“There has still been no communication with traders.

“This delay is going to cause a further blow to traders.”

The work is being carried out under the council's Hostile Vehicle Mitigation Scheme, first introduced by the Liberal Democrat-Green coalition running City of York Council to combat the threat of ‘vehicle as weapon attacks’.

In May the Liberal Democrat-Green coalition was voted out of office and replaced by a Labour administration.