COUNCILLORS have agreed to spend a further £750,000 on plans to beat congestion on York’s roads after expected costs rose.

The city council’s ruling cabinet has agreed to the increase to pay for the new Park&Ride sites at Askham Bar and on the A59 near Poppleton, under the Access York project.

No definite timescale has yet been identified for work to begin, but it has previously been suggested that work could start in March, with the aim of completion by April 2014.

Council leader James Alexander said the bids for the project were more expensive than had originally been anticipated, but the agreement by the cabinet to get started on the scheme was the best move for the city.

Coun Alexander said: “The Park&Ride project is a manifesto pledge that has cross-party support, and is too crucial to York for us not to proceed.

“I remember backing it when I was in opposition. It’s been frustrating that the Government gave us funding for three Park&Rides then withdrew it.

“It feels like the taxpayers funding this twice, as we were already allocated this under the previous government.”

As well as freeing up the funding from the Economic Infrastructure Fund, the cabinet also agreed to begin the diversion of utilities in the area and clearance of the sites, which must be carried out before birds return to nest there.