A £7 MILLION scheme to improve a congested roundabout in York could be given fresh impetus tomorrow if the region's transport board approves proposals for funding.

In February, the Highways Agency submitted a bid - backed by The Press's Access York campaign - to Yorkshire and the Humber's regional transport board for around £7 million to upgrade the A64 and A1237/A1036 Hopgrove and Malton Road roundabouts.

The proposal would see the agency improve the roundabouts by remodelling them, introducing traffic signal control and associated widening, lining and signing works. While regional transport officers have grouped the proposal as a third priority scheme, the Leeds City Region Transport Panel is recommending to a meeting of the regional board tomorrow that it endorse the project for funding from a regional allocation of cash.

City of York Council leader Coun Steve Galloway, who will be speaking in favour of the scheme at the meeting, said there were 22 schemes from local authorities in Yorkshire and the Humber competing for the available funding, so some at least would not be approved.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: "The regional transport board decides which schemes are its priorities and then puts those priorities back to the Department for Transport, and ministers decide whether they agree with the regional board's prioritisation. If they agree then the Highways Agency begins to work up the scheme."

Coun Galloway said: "Clearly the decision of the Leeds City Region Transport Panel to back the Hopgrove Roundabout improvements will improve its chances of being approved at the board meeting tomorrow and I will be speaking and voting in favour of getting on with the Hopgrove scheme as quickly as possible.

"It's a major source of congestion on the A64 and thousands of motorists will benefit if that congestion black spot can be eliminated."

Coun Galloway said he had "no feel" on how the board would act.

Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, York Labour group's transport spokeswoman, said: "Residents for many years have had issues with the Hopgrove Roundabout and have been calling for changes.

"I hope the board accepts this recommendation, as the Hopgrove Roundabout is a strategic point in the region's networks that does have a knock-on effect on the highways across the region."

The board is set to recommend tomorrow that City of York Council's bid for £26.5 million to fund three new Park&Ride sites in the city be endorsed for funding from the regional funding allocation.

If the authority secures the cash, the sites would be built at Askham Bar, on the A59 at Poppleton, and on Wigginton Road at Clifton Moor.

The board is also set to recommend tomorrow that the Yorcard scheme - whereby bus, train and tram customers would have a smartcard that would store electronically entitlement to travel - be endorsed for funding from the allocation.