Should a ‘carbon neutral’ York scrap plans to dual the ring road?

After City of York Council declared a climate emergency, should it continue with plans to dual the outer ring road?

A change of administration at West Offices saw the Liberal Democrats join in coalition with the Greens.

Under the previous Lib Dem-Conservative led council, senior councillors approved plans to match fund the dualling of the congested A1237 outer ring road.

At the time the Green Party said the plans to partially dual York’s outer ring road should be halted.

‘Back the plans’

The York A1237 on a quiet day… Photograph © Google Street View
Conservative Cllr Doughty is now calling for senior councillors to back the dualling plans, saying:

  • We are not criticising the coalition for what they have or have not done but their intentions.

    It is vital the administration backs dualling or this will slash the chance of getting further government funding.

    My request to the coalition is simple, please come out and say clearly that this administration sees the dualling of the northern ring road as being as important as the last administration did and will work hard to ensure as much as possible is dualled.

But Green councillor Andy D’Agorne, executive member for transport, pointed out that all councillors, including Cllr Doughty, voted to declare a climate emergency in York.

Not change the programme

One of the declared aims of the new coalition is: “We will reduce the city’s carbon footprint, committing to annual targets leading to to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.”

Cllr D’Agorne said:

  • Obviously being new in the role I won’t be able to change the programme of work underway and will be seeking to make the best of opportunities to ameliorate the impact through things like better provision for walking and cycling, as well as biodiversity in landscaping and verges maintenance.

    I also think we need to have a more transparent account of the predicted impact of dualling on other parts of the network.

He said he will focus on rolling out a low-carbon transport plan.

Meanwhile Liberal Democrat councillor Stephen Fenton insisted the plans will go ahead.

He said: “The Liberal Democrats are fully committed to delivering the agreed project for dualling the outer ring road, with work already underway on upgrading key roundabouts on the network.

“Thanks to a Liberal Democrat intervention last year, the project to dual the outer ring road will also work to promote modes of sustainable transport, in order to achieve a low-carbon transport plan for York.”