PLANS to dual part of the outer ring road have taken a step forward.

Residents will be invited to have their say on the plans to dual more than seven miles of the A1237 between the roundabouts at Rawcliffe and Hopgrove.

And under the plans a 'tree planting strategy' will be created - and wildflower sown for pollinators.

Senior councillors have approved proposals for a socially distanced consultation, as well as design work, buying land, drawing up a planning application and appointing a contractor.

The Department for Transport put nearly £25.1 million towards the project in October 2019.

Cllr Andy D'Agorne, executive member for transport, said there will also be a subway created for residents at a new housing development planned to be built north of Clifton Moor to use to walk and cycle into the city centre.

Cllr Paula Widdowson added: "How fantastic that you can increase trees and increase biodiversity in such a difficult project."

A council report says landowners, parish councils and other organisations will be approached first about the design of the scheme.

The second stage of the consultation will include leaflets, the use of social media and press releases. But public drop-in sessions are planned for the future, depending on social distancing guidelines.

The report continues: "It is important at this time to seek three critical decisions to ensure that momentum is maintained throughout the remainder of the lockdown period, and that a rapid start up to development work on the scheme is in place to ensure that there is no pause due to the Covid-19 virus."

Council leader Keith Aspden said: "We have lobbied the Government and the Department for Transport for a long time to get additional funding to then dual the ring road."

The council previously said work on the project could start by the end of 2019 and be completed by December 2022.

No updated timeframe was given in the report. The scheme is set to cost The estimated cost for the scheme is £65.7 million - with the majority of the funding coming from West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Government.