DUALLING York’s outer ring road would cost between £100 million and £150 million, a council officer has revealed.

Tony Clarke, head of major transport projects at City of York Council, was speaking at an executive meeting which agreed to press ahead with a £34.2 million upgrade of seven roundabouts on the congested route, with full consultation.

He said his estimated cost of going on to dual the road was based on sticking with roundabouts rather than creating new grade separated junctions. The upgraded roundabouts will be designed to allow for future dualling.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling recently announced that councils would be able to bid for money from a new £1 billion Government fund to help them tackle congestion, and York Outer MP Julian Sturdy has said York could bid so it could finally dual the ring road.

The Press has launched a Dual Them! campaign calling for both the ring road and the A64 east of York to be turned into full dual carriageways.

The new upgrades will improve seven roundabouts between the Wetherby Road and Monks Cross junctions to a similar standard as the A19 and A59 roundabouts, which have already been enhanced.

Councillors said it was essential cyclists and pedestrians were able to cross the junctions safely and Mr Clarke said it was intended to provide subways at appropriate roundabouts.

Green Cllr Andy D’Agorne spoke of his concerns that once roundabouts were upgraded, traffic levels would rise, as they had done near the A59 junction, until any improvements in journey times were lost.

Lib Dem Cllr Andrew Waller spoke of the difficulties caused for businesses by delays and said the upgrade could free up space for sustainable transport in the rest of the city, adding: “It’s not just a matter of deep green versus petrolheads.”

Labour group leader Cllr Janet Looker raised concerns about disruption for people living near the roundabouts, saying the A59 upgrade at Poppleton had caused significant difficulties for some local residents.

Mr Clarke said the council was looking at lessons learned at the A59 to minimise disruption for residents and road users.