A LINK road which York's leaders say is vital to easing congestion could finally be built if new hotel plans are backed.

Tiger Developments abandoned its original plan for a 124-bedroom hotel on the former gasworks site off Layerthorpe, next to the River Foss, following contamination fears, but it has now revealed a fresh proposal on a different part of the site.

The five-storey, L-shaped hotel would have the same number of rooms and ground-floor space for a shop, pub and/ or restaurant.

The scheme is expected to create 124 jobs, of them 50 full-time, and would also include a drive-through KFC restaurant and enable the remaining stage of the James Street link road.

Progress on the route, connecting Layerthorpe and Heworth Green, has stalled because of delays in developing the overall site.

Documents sent to City of York Council by consultants O’Neill Associates said the Health & Safety Executive classed land on the eastern end of the site as being in its “middle zone” for hazards and unsuitable for hotels with more than 100 beds.

Tiger Developments is now focusing on a new location at the site’s southern edge, outside the HSE’s area of concern.

In a planning statement, O’Neill’s said: “The development will bring about the completion of the link road, making a crucial contribution to the council’s efforts to reduce traffic congestion. The provision of this road has been an ambition of the council for many years.”

The council estimated in 2008 that the link road would save the city £620,000 in its first year by cutting congestion. The authority would pay half its expected £580,000 construction cost from developers’ contributions.

Coun Dave Merrett, cabinet member for transport and planning, said: “We’ve experienced some false starts in the past, but it’s vital that we work closely with developers to progress the second stage of the James Street link road.

“It will provide an important additional route in York and help relieve congestion on the east side of the city. This is a scheme we have been committed to developing for a number of years and we welcome any progression this potential development could bring.”