We need investment in sustainable transport, not widening of the outer ring road

Haxby Road roundabout on the ring road

York Green Party has just submitted its response to the consultation on dualling the ring road[1]. We say that it cannot be justified.

York City Council has declared a climate emergency with the need to be carbon neutral by 2030. The York Green Party is arguing that the current proposal will simply lead to more traffic and greater emissions.

In addition to that the time savings are tiny for the £38 million that it would cost, and the money would be far better spent on improving the provision for cycling and walking.

All that the dualling will achieve is to increase traffic through induced demand; not only on the ring road, but on the radial routes too. It will, inevitably, lead to more traffic coming into the centre of York and there is no provision to prevent this. We will therefore see more congestion and higher levels of pollution in the City leading to more illness and death.

Even if it were to be built the current design is unacceptable as it does not even meet the new guidance from the Department for Transport[2]. Every single roundabout fails the Government’s Junction Accessibility Test, with the Wigginton Road roundabout being dangerous to the point of recklessness.

Tom Franklin, Chair of York Green Party said:

“The current proposal goes completely against the Council’s own policy of becoming carbon neutral and therefore should be scrapped. The money should instead be used to reduce dependence on cars in York. If we reduce the number of cars by improving bus routes and provision for walking and cycling then the dualling becomes unnecessary”.

“The current designs includes an incomplete cycle route and dangerous roundabouts that will do nothing to encourage people to cycle or walk as a route is only as safe as its most dangerous part.  At the very least there needs to be proper underpasses at each and every roundabout or traffic light controlled crossings for each crossing. Without this we will see cycling limited to the brave and the foolish and not opened up to everyone”.

[1] https://www.york.gov.uk/YORR

[2] See Cycle Infrastructure Design Local Transport Note 1/20 July 2020 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycle-infrastructure-design-ltn-120

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