The City of York Council has launched a public consultation over its plans to renovate the York Railway Station and transform it into a pedestrian-friendly and open space.

The £15m proposal aims at redeveloping the station’s entrance and would feature the removal of some nearby buildings and a road bridge, as well as the creation of new taxi ranks and expanded car parks.

Under the scheme, a pedestrianised square would be built outside the main entrance, with bus bays and cycle lanes also planned to be introduced separately.

Hidden parts of the city’s wall are expected to be revealed as part of the renovation project, which also includes plans to improve the area around York Railway Institute. Residents will be encouraged to have their say on the matter over the next four weeks. If approved, works could be finished by summer 2021.

The city council is working in partnership with Network Rail, the Intercity East Coast Mainline franchise and engineering and design consultancy Arup to develop the master plan and the first phase of the works, which will include the demolishment of the bridge and changes to the road layout.

Conservative councillor Peter Dew said the plan represents an opportunity to improve the station, which was the largest in the world when it opened in 1877. He said the proposal builds on comments made by local residents in previous consultations and will act as a gateway to the York Central area.

Dew added: “Travelling to and from the station is a far from ideal experience, whichever mode of transport you use.

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“We now have a fantastic opportunity to make it much easier to use, especially with the station set for a three-fold increase in passenger numbers over the next 30 years.”

The project will be funded by the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal.

Andrew Waller, deputy leader of York city council, said: “Transforming the area in front of Railway Station is integral to making it fit for the 21st century and much more in tune with sustainable ways of getting around.

“It plays a vital role connecting the station to the city centre and surrounding communities to one of Europe’s largest city-centre sustainable developments, York Central.

“Our residents, visitors and stunning heritage all deserve a much better gateway to the city. These plans have the potential to deliver it – now we need residents, businesses and groups to engage to help us make the most of the opportunity.”