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£183m transport boost raises Outer Ring Road dualling hopes
HOPES of dualling part of York’s Outer Ring Road have risen with the city set to get a share of £183 million in Government cash for transport projects.
The Department for Transport has announced a new Local Transport Body (LTB) covering West Yorkshire and York is expected to receive £60 million between 2015/16 and 2018/19 and £123 million more over a ten-year period under the “City Deal” scheme, which gives local councils more funding and decision-making powers.
City of York Council’s cabinet agreed in October that York wanted to be part of the West Yorkshire LTB, and city leaders hope York’s slice of funding can be used for schemes of “mutual benefit” to both areas, including long-awaited Outer Ring Road improvements.
Other potential projects include better transport links between York and Leeds Bradford Airport, upgrading the York-Harrogate railway line and developing a bus station in the city.
It is not yet clear how much York will specifically receive through the LTB link-up, as indicative funding figures have just been announced. From 2015 onwards, each LTB will be allocated funding according to population, whereas councils previously had to bid for a share of cash for specific schemes from a central pot.
The City Deal funding will run from 2015/16 to 2024/25, and Coun Dave Merrett, cabinet member for transport, planning and sustainability, said: “This will support investment in transport to support the Leeds City Region and York economies, maximising the collective benefit.
“We will also be collaborating between the wider Leeds and Manchester City Regions to drive improvements in rail transport.”
Council leader James Alexander said York had been a key player in LTB talks, saying: “We can now make local decisions which will determine how funding for major transport schemes in York will be spent.
“A key part of these new arrangements is the ten-year West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund to inject a share of £1.5 billion nationally into the region. This will be vital in ensuring local authorities can make key local decisions on transport provision, promoting future job growth and economic investment.”