York Green Party

Green Leader warns of “blind pursuit” of ring road upgrade

15 February 2014

Following a meeting of political group leaders on Monday, Green Councillor Andy D’Agorne warned that the "blind pursuit" of roadbuilding projects will hold York back.

Cllr D'Agorne called for the Council to properly consider alternative ways to improve the flow and sustainability of transport within the city. The enormous expense of upgrading the ring road – both financial and in terms of carbon emissions – cannot be justified.

A 2006 study by consultants Faber Maunsell looked at the proposal to dual the outer ring road and add grade-separated junctions (as at Grimston Bar). It concluded that the cost-to-benefit ratio was very poor, and would not meet the standards expected to attract government funding. Councillor D'Agorne said, "this study did not even include the effects of additional traffic generated by the road upgrade – something established in transport policy since 1996. With that included, the project appears even more worthless."

According to the Council Cabinet Member for Transport and Planning, Cllr Dave Merrett, the cost of the scheme is currently estimated at £350million. Cllr D'Agorne says that the Green Group cannot support a ring road upgrade without knowing what else could be achieved for this enormous figure.

"The Third Local Transport Plan for York, while lacking in ambition in some respects does repeat ideas such as a freight transhipment centre', 'orbital bus services' and even 'tram-train' - none of which have been given anything like the same level of political priority as 'dualling the ring road'," said Councillor D'Agorne.

Building more roadspace is not the only way to improve connectivity, says Andy. With the developments at Germany Beck, Derwenthorpe, Nestle South and Terrys, York needs to look strategically at what is needed for the twenty-first century, rather than attempting to repeat the mistakes of the past. "York should not aspire to the transport policies that Peterborough, Milton Keynes or Leeds has fifty years ago."

Misspending the transport budget could have serious repercussions for our city, he warns: "We need to adopt progressive, low-carbon solutions which improve the quality of our city. Failure to do so will only further disadvantage this city in comparison with our more visionary European and international competitors who are less reliant on fossil fuels and inefficient private transport, have cleaner air, healthier populations and less congested roads."

RSS Feed York Green Party RSS Feed

What have your Green councillors ever done for you?
Donate to your local party
Turn York Green Party Green

Sign up here to receive our monthly updates

We'll mail you about once a month with Green Party news and updates for your area. We'll always keep your details safe, private and secure.

members' site