THE letter from Quentin McDonald (October 24) highlights the changes in retail journey habits, which have evolved with the so called “freedom to drive” to peripheral shopping malls, via York’s bypasses.

Dualling the A1237 will only encourage longer distance retail travel, including more journeys attempted at peak times, at the expense of local shops which can often be reached by cycling.

Dualling will also encourage developers to create new sites alongside the road, and lifestyle decisions on where to live and work will be made, based on the increased road capacity.

If York accepts the Government’s £20m plus dualling bribe, will we eventually end up with bigger jams on bigger roads? But can we ever build our way out of congestion?

If the Government would instead properly resource its own Cycling and Walking Investment Plan (CWIS), York could receive direct funding to develop a comprehensive, citywide cycle network. This would help reduce the demand for many short car journeys.

We could alternatively leave the A1237 as it is, and allow congestion to act as a mechanism for suppressing journey demand. Travel decisions might then be made with appropriate forethought.

Paul Hepworth

Windmill Rise, York