THE Press today launches a campaign calling on the Government to support York's planned bid for £160 million that could be used to dual parts of the city's congested outer ring road.

We exclusively revealed how City of York Council leader Steve Galloway said if the bid was successful the money may be used to dual certain sections of the outer ring road.

Our Access York campaign - today backed by York's political and business chiefs - is also appealing to the Government to support the city's bid next month for £26.5 million for three new park&ride sites.

Those bids will - in addition to one from the Highways Agency for in excess of £5 million to upgrade the Hopgrove Roundabout - be for money that would come from central government.

A meeting is being arranged between Coun Galloway, York MP Hugh Bayley, chair of the Future York Group Christopher Garnett and Rosie Winterton, the new minister for Yorkshire and the Humber.

Coun Galloway said that at that meeting the York representatives would seek the minister's support for the bids.

He said: "I'm delighted if The Press is able to help us in our campaign to get more investment in transport in York, and I would urge readers to support the campaign by signing the petition," Coun Galloway said.

Len Cruddas, chief executive of York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, also threw his weight behind the campaign.

"We very strongly support the campaign because the success of the council's bid is absolutely essential to the economic development of the city," he said.

"Ideally we would have liked to see all of the northern ring road converted to dual carriageway as we think that the current and planned levels of development justify this, but we have to be realistic about the long-term chances of securing that level of funding."

Coun Galloway said the funds would initially be used to improve certain junctions on the outer ring road, such as the A59 at Poppleton, and Wigginton Road.

The cash would then probably be spent on undertaking "significant works" at other junctions on the ring road, which might include the A19 and Haxby Road.

Coun Galloway said the improvements could include enlarging the roundabouts at those junctions.

He said the new park&ride sites would be at Askham Bar, on the A59 at Poppleton and in Wigginton Road.