Luke Charters on the Outer Ring road:

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“I am in favour of the planning application to dual York’s ring road.

If I had a pound for every time the Tories promised to dual the ring road over the last 14 years, we’d have the money to invest in an entire tram system too!

The scheme is not perfect. But we cannot afford any more delay – it is time to get on with delivery.

It always perplexes me – and many residents I speak to – why the ring road was not dualled when it was originally built in the 1970s and 80s.

Travelling from one side of the city to the other – Open Google maps and it may send you through the city centre, rather than via the ring road. This in its most simple terms is the greatest benefit of the scheme – to get traffic out of the city centre.

Many of us will have been stuck in traffic at a standstill from Clifton Moor Gate to Rawcliffe Bar. I remember panicking when Rachel Reeves came to Rawcliffe in December that I would be late!

I used to cycle into school, and the Huntington/Earswick junction has always been in dire need of upgrade to improve cycle connectivity.

In my heart of hearts, I do advocate for further provision for active travel, but we cannot let perfection be the enemy of the good.

I would therefore like to endorse many of the comments the various parish councils have filed in respect to safe cycle routes. It is regrettable, for instance, proposals do not include provision of an underpass at the Wigginton Road roundabout.

Ideally we would have seen more than 5.1km pedestrian and cycle routes.

Proposals also to have adequately lit underpasses from Earswick to Huntington are important for the safety of pedestrians at night.

I would also advise based on local discussions that there is a concerted effort to protect Westfield Beck and the River Foss from any sewage and pollution during the dualling process. It is important to me that residents do have a say on these matters.

I would also like to agree with comments made by the York Civic Trust that priority for bus services at some roundabouts should certainly be considered.

I could list other areas where the scheme could be improved. But it is about evaluating it on balance.

The question at the end of the day is; will the long-term benefits of dualling the ring road outweigh the costs, and I’m confident the answer is yes.

I believe that the ring road in its present design is holding our city back.

Traffic is disruptive for small businesses and residents and active travel in the area is completely insufficient.

The ring road would be a most welcome step forward for people in York Outer who rely on their cars on a daily basis to commute in and out of the city. Congestion would be reduced from the city centre, and journey times would be cut too.

That is why – in spite of some of the improvements that are absent from the scheme – I believe we must support the plans and dual the ring road.”

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