YORK is in danger of becoming a first-rate city crippled by a second-rate transport system. Employers have shown time and again how highly they regard the city. Just look at Nestlé’s continued investment here, or HSBC’s plans to bring it’s main data centre to York.

But how long will that enthusiasm last if our road connections – and especially the log-jammed outer ring road – don’t improve?

Plans to dual the entire ring road were dashed last year because of the cost – put at up to £264 million.

Now a smaller-scale, £42 million scheme to improve roundabouts and junctions on the northern bypass has also been put on hold.

The Regional Transport Board has placed it on the “reserve” list, meaning it will be “addressed as and when funding becomes available.”

York transport boss Steve Galloway today stressed the scheme was still alive. But he admitted the decision not to proceed now was disappointing.

“The underlying problem remains that the Government grossly under-funds improvements for transport systems in Yorkshire,” he said. “We are very much the poor cousins.”

York does get a consolation prize. The Regional Transport Board has set aside £7.54 million to open a railway station at Haxby. A £25 million scheme for three new Park&Rides and an upgrade of the A59/A1237 roundabout has also been confirmed.

But motorists stuck in endless ring road queues will still feel short-changed. They will be right.