MOTORISTS suffered extensive delays last night as they battled through York's busiest roads.

Day trippers who were thinking of heading to York or to the coast were also expected to be caught in traffic congestion today.

Westbound traffic on the York outer ring road was the worst affected last night, with delays of up to 45 minutes. The A64 at Copmanthorpe, where ongoing road works are slowing traffic considerably, also suffered serious problems.

Traffic started to build up both on the outskirts of York and in the city centre from 3.30pm, peaking at about 5pm and slowly tailing off, making last night's jams even more severe than those experienced on Thursday evening.

A spokesman for AA Roadwatch said half-term traffic, the roadworks and the rush hour had combined to create severe problems.

He said: "It certainly has been very busy on the A64, and on the York outer ring road there were delays of up to three-quarters-of-an-hour re-ported.

"Particularly on the outer ring road the combination of the volume of traffic and the roadworks at Copmanthorpe made it quite severe.

"Around the city centre it was very busy, but there were no specific problems. There have been extensive delays."

He said further delays could also be expected today, with Saturday popular for trips to York and to the east coast.

Updated: 10:21 Saturday, February 16, 2002