A £200,000 project to cut 90 seconds off bus journey times on a York road is moving ahead.

But a City of York Council meeting heard questions raised about the cost of the scheme - and whether it was worth it.

A public consultation will now open on the North York Bus Improvement project - which looks at how to cut the congestion that slows buses down on Wigginton Road outside York Hospital. Some £50,000 has already been spent drawing up the plans, with another £200,000 in the budget.

Cllr Peter Dew, the council’s executive member for transport, agreed on Thursday that the scheme needed further consideration.

The scheme looks at three particular changes for the area - prioritising Wigginton Road traffic at the Haxby Road/ Clarence Street junction; replacing the mini-roundabout at the entrance to the hospital with a conventional “give way” junction; and asking bus companies to spend less time at the Fountayne Street stops.

However, questions were asked at Thursday’s decision session about whether the moves would make enough impact.

Cllr Denise Craghill, whose Guildhall ward covers the area, said: “The question that many people will ask, however, is how much difference will the £250,000 being spent on these measures make to the speed and attractiveness of bus journeys along Haxby and Wigginton Roads and is it worth that much money? The answer seems to be that it will hopefully make a small improvement, mainly by re-modelling the junction of Haxby, Wigginton, Clarence and Lowther Streets – but that is all.”

She said that with the new Nestle South housing development in the pipeline, the area needed decent public transport provision and traffic modelling needed to take the new development into account.

Cllr Dew also heard from council Green party leader Cllr Andy D’Agorne, who said the more radical solution of bus lanes should be considered. A written submission from the York Bus Forum said members were keen to see any measures to improve bus reliability, but doubted the proposals would "really deliver what’s needed”.

Instead, they asked why no consideration had been given to bus detection technology to give buses extra green time on traffic lights, and said a Clifton Moor Park and Ride to the hospital and on into the city “might be a far more effective way of addressing the problems".

A public consultation is now scheduled for June, and Cllr Dew said concerns from the bus forum, cycle campaigners and others should all be considered as part of that.

Further engineering development will also be carried out before a final decision is made.