YORK'S Conservative Party leader today backed our 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.

City of York councillor Ian Gillies said he also welcomed council leader Coun Steve Galloway's indication that he would support sections of the road being dualled.

We are urging readers to back our Access York campaign - which also appeals to the Government to support the city's proposed bid for cash to pay for three new Park&Ride sites.

The three-pronged campaign - aimed at beating congestion in York - also urges the Government to look favourably on a bid the Highways Agency is to submit in February for money to upgrade the Hopgrove Roundabout.

It is hoped the ring road bid will be submitted in October and the Park&Ride one next month.

Representatives from York, including Coun Gillies and Coun Galloway, will meet Rosie Winterton, the Minister for Yorkshire and the Humber, on Monday, when they will seek her support for the Access York bid. Coun Gillies said: "We welcome The Press's campaign supporting dualling as much of the ring road as is financially feasible."

He said a Conservative motion calling for dualling of the ring road had been defeated at last October's council meeting by the Liberal Democrats and Labour.

Coun Galloway said the council would only make a decision on whether sections of the outer ring road could be dualled after its consultants had supplied it with a report, which would recommend how best to reduce congestion.

"The current local transport plan was written and approved in 2006 and that included the council's commitment to reducing congestion in York, which included improvements to the outer ring road," he said.

"Our policy has not changed. What has changed over the last few months is that the regional transport board has found headroom in their budget and it's that which allows us now to make the bid for additional 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.

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

Any funding would come from central Government.