£31m boost to tackle congestion hot spots

THE Government has announced a £31m package of funding which will tackle notorious traffic tailbacks in the hope of attracting enterprise to two of Yorkshire’s historic locations.

The Department for Transport confirmed yesterday it has awarded the multi-million pound investment to combat congestion in York and Beverley. Transport Minister Norman Baker heralded the move as vital to “tackling congestion and encouraging economic growth”.

The scheme in York represents one of the largest single investments in the city’s transport network and work will start from next month on two park and ride sites and an outer ring road roundabout upgrade. The overall cost be £22.7m, and the DfT will provide £15.3m – 70 per cent of the funding needed.

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The existing Askham Bar park and ride site will be replaced with a much larger facility catering for 1,100 vehicles. A new facility will also be created on the A59 near Poppleton for 600 vehicles. A major upgrade of the A59/A1237 outer ring road roundabout will also be undertaken.

It is hoped the park and ride sites will be operational from the spring of 2014 in advance of the world’s largest annual sporting event – Le Tour de France Grande Départ – which will be hosted in York in the summer of that year.

The Beverley Integrated Transport Plan (BITP) has been awarded £16.3m by the Government towards the scheme’s overall cost of £22m. The project is expected to be completed by 2015 and will include the long-awaited Beverley Southern Relief Road as well as upgrades to some of the town’s busiest junctions. The BITP’s main objective is to dramatically reduce through traffic volumes in the town centre, with streets such as Keldgate estimated to witness a decrease of 60 per cent.