CALLS to dual York’s ring road are to be taken directly to the Prime Minister as a petition is launched in a bid to seek £200 million of funding.

Lobbying business groups have collaborated to launch what they hope will be a “mass public campaign” to upgrade the A1237, with business leaders set to travel to Number 10 in January to deliver the petition straight to Government.

The action has been launched by York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership in conjunction with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the Chamber of Commerce, York Professionals and Institute of Directors.

It comes after York missed out on recent Government funding allocations for transport, which saw the announcement of improvements to the M62 and rail lines in the North West.

Barry Dodd, chairman of the Enterprise Partnership, said: “In a month where Government is awarding increasing powers and investment to connect northern metropolitans, we are calling on the Prime Minister to recognise the potential economic power around York and to invest in the dualling of York’s outer ring road so that it can fulfil its potential.

“We want the Government to make this their priority. York’s ring road has become not just a logistical nightmare but a barrier to recruitment. It slows down growth of businesses and slows down the economy.

“We are all lined up in our calls for this.”

With the petition due to be delivered in January, campaigners are hoping for an answer within six months, before the general election.

Simon Williams, regional chairman of the federation, said: “Eighteen months ago we commissioned research that showed dualling the ring road was the top transport priority for our York members.

“By speeding up the ring road, we can make it easier for small businesses to grow and take advantage of new supply chain opportunities within York, North Yorkshire and East Riding and neighbouring areas.”

The total cost of completely dualling the outer ring road is estimated to be £300 million. The campaign is seeking £200 million, which is in addition to £100 million already secured by different groups.

The campaign has already attracted the support of business groups and politicians in York.

Philip Lewis Ogden, chairman of the Clifton Moor Business Association, said: “We have been pressing for this for donkeys years. It’s a fiasco that the funding hasn’t been found to cover it before now.

“It’s long overdue and we would 100 per cent back this effort.”

Also adding his backing, York Outer MP Julian Sturdy said: “I congratulate all those involved in putting this together. We know that traffic congestion on the ring road which is now happening not just at peak times but any time in the day, is having a big impact on our businesses and economy..”

Cllr James Alexander, leader of City of York Council, added: “I support the call for the Prime Minster to back up his recognition of the importance of dualling York’s outer ring road to the city’s economy by committing investment to its delivery.

"This is a critical route for the economic wellbeing of the city. It will enable greater access to support the movement of people and services into and out of the city, helping our business base to thrive and grow which in turn will better the employment prospects for our residents.

“We’ve already started the preliminary work for this infrastructure work in ensuring that it is a key component of the £83.5 million transport package for York included in the West Yorkshire Plus York Transport Fund.

"We are also working closely with the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership and the Local Transport Board to develop a series of transport-based improvements.”

York businessman Kevin Hollinrake, who is the Thirsk and Malton Conservative Parliamentary candidate, said: “Dualling of the ring road is what so many businesses and people in York want and need. I’m delighted that a body of people have come together to push the case as one collective voice.”

Anybody wishing to support the campaign can sign up to the online petition at as well as tweeting #dualyorkringroad