York Councillors asked to approve funding for York outer ring road dualling

Councillors will be asked to approve match funding for the dualling of the York outer ring road from the A19 Shipton Road through to Little Hopgrove (Malton Road), when they meet at Executive on Thursday 20 December.

The plans don’t include improvements to the Ouse river crossing, one of the main pressure points on the existing network. Nor are there plans to introduce split level intersections  raising concerns that the existing junctions, even with larger roundabouts, will continue to be pinch pints on the network.

A Council report asks the Executive to recommend  that £2.8m match funding, approximately 10 percent of the estimated £28m cost of the dualling element of the overall upgrade scheme, is provided in the Council’s Capital Programme.

The opportunity for funding of the scheme using the new Major Road Network Fund was announced by the Secretary for State earlier this year.

This follows on from the outer ring road roundabout upgrade scheme which will see seven roundabouts upgraded ready for dualling as part of a West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund scheme.

Work is nearly complete at Wetherby Road roundabout after starting earlier this year. Monks Cross is the next in line with ground clearance works set to take place early in 2019. It is proposed to join the dualling and roundabout schemes together as early as possible to reduce overall costs and disruption.

Subject to the decision on the match funding proposal at this Executive meeting a formal Outline Business Case (OBC) would be submitted to the DfT this month.  This is the first stage of the DfT’s approval process. Dependent on a positive assessment of the OBC and Ministerial approval it is anticipated that Programme Entry status would be granted for the scheme by March 2019.

Increasing the capacity of the ring road leading to the redistribution of trips will complement the city’s transport policies and help to enable more sustainable travel options to be delivered in the urban area of the city.

The York Outer Ring Road improvements programme is being funded through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

For more information about the York outer ring road roundabout upgrades visit www.york.gov.uk/yorr

Executive takes place on Thursday 20 December from 5.30pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch live online from: www.york.gov.uk/webcasts

To find out more about the report, or to attend, visit: https://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=733&MId=10475&Ver=4

New plans to cut congestion on York outer ring road roundabout near Monks Cross

City of York Council is sharing proposals to cut congestion and journey times on one of York’s busiest roads.

Residents and businesses have until Friday 1 June to view and comment on designs to upgrade the outer ring road’s Monks Cross roundabout. A leaflet can be downloaded from here

This will be the second of seven A1237 roundabouts set for major improvements over the next four years – a total £38 million programme funded through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund. The council is starting work on the first junction improvement at Wetherby Road this summer.

The roundabout upgrades will mean more lanes and space on the approaches and exits. Where possible the road layouts will be designed to accommodate the potential future scheme to bring the outer ring road up to dual carriageway standard.  The Monks Cross roundabout improvement works are planned for early 2019, although some site clearance work could start earlier.

 

Plans can be viewed online at www.york.gov.uk/yorr, at the council’s West Offices on Station Rise, YO1 6GA, or at two special public exhibitions at Monks Cross Shopping Centre management suite (in the corner by New Look) between 1 and 6pm on Tuesday 8 May and Tuesday 22 May.

All comments will be reviewed and changes to the design made where possible.  The decision on the final layout will be taken at a public Executive Member for Transport and Planning Decision Session meeting later in the year.

The York Outer Ring Road improvements programme is being funded through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

A1237 dualling – call for action

A1237 dualling still illusive

A1237 dualling still illusive

With congestion levels on the A1237 York northern by pass gradually increasing, residents have called on the City of York to provide an update report on plans to dual the road.

Hopes that work on at least one junction would start in March have been dashed.

Progress had been promised by Conservative candidates in last years elections but funding – with possibly as much as £240 million needed – is apparently caught up in a wrangle about electing a new regional Mayor.

The government has said that devolution of resources is dependent on the boundaries for new Mayoral regions being agreed. West Yorkshire and North /East Yorkshire are at logger heads over the plan, with York caught in the middle. Meanwhile Sheffield is pressing ahead with its own plans to elect a South Yorkshire Mayor.

No reference was made to a northern Yorkshire devolution in the deals announced in the recent statement by the Chancellor.

The recently published forward programme of decisions likely to be made by the York Council over the next 4 months contains no reference to the dualling project.

Nor is there any provision in the Council 5 years capital programme which was agreed in February.

 

 

Ring Road improvements falter but York Council set to borrow £24 million

A report to a Council meeting later this week details how an £80 million Council investment programme will be funded.

The Council will again borrow heavily to fund schemes which include:

Borrowing costs click to enlarge

Borrowing costs click to enlarge

  • Expansion of Fulford school (£5.8m)
  • Schools maintenance (£4m)
  • Older persons accommodation (£0.5m)
  • Museums plus art gallery gardens (0.85m)
  • LED street lighting replacement (£1.3m)
  • Provision of 20 new Council houses (£8.9m) and modernisation (£2.3m)
  • Local Transport Plan (£4.6m)
  • Community Stadium (£20.7m of which £6.4m will come from taxpayers)*

*It seems highly unlikely that this money will be spent in the current financial year as the contract is not now expected to be let until the spring.

The Council will invest in better play grounds and more solar powered litter bins.

The programme also includes a (mostly unallocated) £15m sum in the “economic investment fund”. This is understood still to include major contributions towards a bridge into the York Central site and funding for a Digital Media Centre.

A1237 northern by pass improvements delayed?

A1237

The 5 year rolling programme – which includes projects which are both directly and indirectly funded – does not identify any money for improvements to the northern by pass.  

The West Yorkshire “Combined Authority” agreed last November to include a £37.6m allocation in their forward programme for the project.

Following the announcement by the government of an allocation of £1 billion for the “West Yorkshire Plus Transport fund”, the York Council was asked to commit £500,000 a year in its revenue budget to progress the ring road project.

The expectation was that the £37 million investment would be used to upgrade those roundabouts – such as the one on the Haxby Road – which currently cause bottlenecks on the A1237.

According to the Combined Authorities programme formal approval for improvements at the first junction was due to be given this month (August) with a start on site in March 2016.

No explanation for the delays has been provided in the report to York Councillors.

The government funding allocation must be used by 2021.

York Council to spend £5.8 million on transport improvements over next 12 months

No ring road improvements scheduled. Little being spent on reducing congestion

The Councils transport investment programme has been published. As usual the devil will be in the detail and the programme could be scrapped if there are major changes in the make-up of the Council at the May 7th polls.

Bus Services

Around £775,000 is to be spent on improvements to bus services.  £250,000 of this will go on the delays Rougier Street bus shelter while £200,000 will address “pinch point improvements”. Once again sub-urban areas fare badly in the allocations (separately on the agenda for the same meeting a £20,000 plan to improve facilities in Rawcliffe is recommended for rejection)

Traffic congestion

Proposed extra lane for A19 pinch point

Proposed extra lane for A19 pinch point

£2 million is being spent easing the “pinch point” on the A19 near the Designer Outlet. Much less is being spent elsewhere in the £2.4 million budget although the modernisation of variable message boards – which have been increasingly unreliable – is welcome.

Cycling/Pedestrian schemes

£468,000 is being spent on a range of small schemes. The biggest is the provision of a cycle link at Scarborough Bridge. This is mostly being covered by central government grant.

Road Safety

Wetherby Road VAS

Wetherby Road VAS

This is only being allocated £450,000 in the programme which is still driven by Labour priorities.  School safety schemes, school crossing warning signs, “speed management” and the renewal of the vehicle activated signs (VAS), like those on Wetherby Road and Green Lane, will all get a boost.

Money is also asset aside to develop future improvements and to continue maintenance of the City Walls. The alleygating programme will also continue.

No expenditure on improvements to the northern by pass is expected over the next 12 months despite promises from the Labour Council leadership that this was now one of their priorities.