ROAD pricing in York was on the agenda when councillors were given a presentation on how such a scheme might work in the city.

Paul Wadsworth, of transport consultancy Capita Symonds, which was involved in implementing the London Congestion Charge, gave the talk to City of York councillors at a meeting in York's Guildhall.

Mr Wadsworth's presentation cited evidence from London which showed there had been a 26 per cent reduction in congestion within zone compared to pre-charge.

It revealed that, since the charge was increased, use of public transport had gone up by between one and three per cent.

Mr Wadsworth said if York was to introduce road pricing, it could do so by setting up a public-private partnership.

He said this was one of the ways York could look at how it might fund improving transport in the city, whereby the forecast revenue from the road pricing could be used to secure a loan from a lender. That cash could then be used to improve transport in York, he said.

Mr Wadsworth's presentation was heard by the authority's traffic congestion ad-hoc scrutiny committee, which is proposing to survey residents on options for improving transport in York.

Coun Dave Merrett, chair of the committee, said: "The whole thing comes out of what are the traffic problems in the city and what are the potential solutions - this might be one of them but we've still got to look at the other ones."

Council leader Coun Steve Galloway said: "We're prepared to look at road pricing as part of overall traffic management initiatives, but any system would have to be a national system so that the city wasn't disadvantaged economically in terms of our competitive position with neighbouring areas - so we would be looking for central Government to agree a method of road pricing."

The news comes after the authority submitted a bid last week for around £26.5 million to fund three new Park&Ride sites in York, at Askham Bar, on the A59 at Poppleton and at Clifton Moor on Wigginton Road.

We are urging readers to join our Access York campaign supporting the council's bid - and its proposed bid for up to £160 million to finance improvements to the congested outer ring road.