IN December, hopes that the A64 east of York could one day be dualled were given a huge boost when Highways England revealed that transport specialists were looking at a series of options.

Dualling of the A64 would be enormously welcome.

But it would solve only part of the region’s notorious congestion problem, which is so damaging to the economy and so frustrating for those of us who live here. It would immeasurably improve transport links with the coast. But it would leave York itself still at the mercy of the hopelessly inadequate outer ring road.

When we launched our Dual Them! campaign last autumn, were made it clear that both the ring road and the A64 needed to be dual-carriageway. The long-term economic consequences of failing to do that could be catastrophic, we warned.

Well, now the city council is embarking on the first steps of a journey that ultimately just might lead to the A1237 being dualled. It has secured almost £300,000 to carry out a detailed study of the economic benefits of dualling. The council hopes that the evidence generated by the study could then be used to persuade Whitehall to spend up to £350 million on dualling the ring road.

There’s a long way to go yet. But this is a start. And in the meantime, the council will be investing £32.5 million on improving traffic flows at seven roundabouts on the ring road. The first of those will be the Wetherby Road roundabout. The council is asking for comments on its proposals by February 2. Don’t miss the chance to have your say