THE Press today launches a campaign to make two of York and North Yorkshire’s biggest and most important roads fit for the 21st century.

Our Dual Them! campaign is calling for both the A64 east of York and the York Outer Ring Road to be turned into full dual carriageways to end the misery of congestion and traffic jams which routinely blight motorists and bus passengers’ journeys, while also damaging the economy.

It throws our support behind the ‘A64 Growth Partnership’, launched yesterday by local councils, MPs, businesses and trade organisations with the aim of pressing for dualling between York’s Hopgrove roundabout and Malton.

It also calls for the Government to fund the dualling of the outer ring road from its new ‘Major Road Network’ pot of money, which is open to bids from local authorities such as City of York Council to tackle congestion.

The campaign has won the immediate support of local councillors, MPs and business organisations.

York Outer MP Julian Sturdy said: “I am pleased that The Press are campaigning to improve the entirety of York’s main road network and I shall be supporting their campaign by calling on Highways and City of York Council to engage constructively in order to deliver the best solution to reduce congestion both north and south of the city.

“The Government has recently announced an investment plan for Britain that will create a ‘Major Road Network’ to provide financing for main roads overseen by local authorities.

“This is crucial for York’s outer ring road, the A1237, because unlike the A64 it is the responsibility of City of York Council.”

Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake said he was “totally behind” The Press’ efforts to drive the campaign forward, as traffic and safety issues on the A64 would only be resolved if we are “all in it together”.

He said: “It is absolutely vital that we get the public behind it. Whether you use the A64 for pleasure activities or for business, whether you travel by car or by bus, I would encourage you to sign the Press’ petition.

“We need a coalition of support from right across the region, not just from politicians and business leaders but from everyone who uses the A64. We must keep the pressure up, first for a dual carriageway to Barton Hill and then in separate stages all the way to Malton.”

Cllr Ian Gillies, executive member for transport at City of York Council, said he welcomed the Press support for improvements to both the ring road and A64.

“Upgrading is long overdue, and we will be doing all we can to work with local MPs and others to secure funding,” he said.

“The business sector in both York and North Yorkshire has long campaigned for the changes and I welcome the Government’s announcement regarding potential funding.”

Council leader David Carr said dualling the ring road could help to reduce congestion and improve air quality in the city centre, as motorists would be encouraged to use the free flowing road rather than cut through York.

A dualled ring road could also be used as part of a project to offload goods from HGVs onto smaller, greener delivery vehicles to take them in to the centre.

Barry Dodd, chair of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership, said he really welcomed The Press’ campaign, as it could help the partnership show to Government that the public was behind its efforts.

“Great thanks to The Press for getting behind it,” he said. “Your ability to mobilise the population is superb; that’s exactly what we need. We must have the support of the public - people have got to get behind this.”

Emma Smailes, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said problems with the A64 were constantly being brought up by small and medium sized businesses, not just in North Yorkshire but West Yorkshire as well.

To sign our petition online, go to