Park and ride success to drive Far Eastern promise

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A DELEGATION of senior executives responsible for combating traffic congestion and pollution in Chinese cities has witnessed firsthand the efforts which are underway in York to beat tailbacks.

Transport chiefs from York Council met with Chinese officials to showcase the North Yorkshire city’s own strategy to reduce congestion clogging up its roads network.

The 14-strong delegation led by the Director for General Office of Ministry of Transport, Peng Lui, met with York Council’s cabinet member for transport, planning and sustainability, Coun Dave Merrett, and other key officers including First, the operators of the city’s park and ride service.

Coun Merrett said: “It was great to be able to meet and pass on our expertise in transport, while also having the opportunity to learn from each others’ experiences.

“We have one of the best park and rides in the country here in York, so it was fantastic to be able to show them that.”

Discussions during the meeting on Tuesday included an overview of York’s transport strategy and public transport priorities, as well as an analysis of the park and ride service.

The council is looking to build on the success of its existing park and ride facilities by extending the existing network. The Yorkshire Post revealed yesterday that a Europe-wide search has been launched to sign up a construction firm to spearhead one of the biggest investments ever undertaken in York’s transport infrastructure.

The long-awaited introduction of more desperately needed park-and-ride sites has reached a milestone after the start of the formal tendering process to recruit an internationally-renowned company for the project.

Two new schemes costing a total of £22m are planned to open in 2014 to bolster the existing park-and-ride network.

The proposals will see an existing facility at Askham Bar relocated and doubled in size, with a new site introduced on the outskirts of York at Upper Poppleton.

The visit from the Chinese delegation is the latest move to forge closer links between York and the Far East. The city has been leading a concerted marketing drive to attract more visitors from the Far East, and York University already has close links with education institutions in China.