New Row Over York Outer Ring Road Upgrades
10:49am 9th December 2013
A new row has broken out over ways to pay for upgrades to York's Outer Ring Road.
York Council's Labour leader James Alexander has accused Conservative MP for York Outer Julian Sturdy, who's a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Department of Transport, of not doing enough to raise the issue which was one of Julian Sturdy's 2010 election pledges. As part of his role, the MP is not allowed to raise issues which relate to his own department. But Julian Sturdy has told Minster FM he is speaking to transport ministers privately and pushing the case for the road around York to be dualled.
The issue re-gained attention after David Cameron visited York in October. Then the Prime Minister said dualling the ring road should be looked at. James Alexander called a meeting of both York MPs and representatives from all council parties. The meeting hasn't happened yet due to diary commitments but the council leader said it will soon but not before Christmas.
The issue has also fed into the debate over whether York should align itself with North or West Yorkshire. The Labour-run council is pushing for around half of an £83 million programme of transport improvements to be spent on the ring road. But Julian Sturdy says there are no guarantees the bid will be accepted and the council should work with North Yorkshire instead. The North Yorkshire Local Transport Body turned down an application for £2 million of improvements to the ring road, although documents from the meeting say this is due to York Council saying it already had the money from West Yorkshire.
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