New year milestone for £22m project to bring park-and-ride scheme to city

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A COUNCIL will be asked to dig deep into its coffers to find extra cash for a major park and ride scheme in York when it meets in the new year.

Members of York Council will discuss plans outlined in a report going before senior councillors on the Access York scheme. The first phase of the project will replace the Askham Bar park-and-ride site with a larger facility and creating a new site on the A59 near Poppleton.

When members of the council’s cabinet meet on January 8 they will be asked to increase the contingency allowance for the project by up to £750,000 as the costs submitted by the contractors to deal with the ground conditions at the Askham Bar site are higher than originally estimated.

Richard Wood, assistant director at the council, said: “The construction of new park-and-ride sites is critical to supporting economic growth and improving York’s environment. The new Askham Bar site is located on a former landfill tip site so initial investigations on the ground conditions were undertaken as part of the project design and reflected in the cost estimates.

“The contractors have now allocated a higher risk allowance for dealing with the uncertainty of the ground conditions. This also reflects conditions included in the contract by the council to reduce its liabilities.

“Whilst we are now seeking to increase the contingency allowance for this major project we will be continuously looking to reduce costs by reviewing other works on the project and by working with the main contractor during the delivery stages.”

The £22.7m project represents one of the largest single investments in the city’s transport infrastructure since the northern ring road was built. It is expected that about 70 per cent of the overall project costs will be provided by the Government.

If approved by the council’s cabinet, an application for 
full approval will then be submitted to the Government and 
building could begin in March 2013.

The cabinet is also being asked to approve advance works to ensure this key project is delivered to programme.