ROAD bosses are to adopt traffic chaos solutions put forward by Evening Press readers to help solve the A64 roadworks chaos.

Highways Agency chiefs revealed today that they will create an extra lane approaching works on the westbound carriageway of the A64, splitting traffic staying on the road from that leaving for York.

The idea was proposed by Evening Press readers, and put to the agency by the newspaper last week.

Sunday working will also start this weekend in an effort to speed up completion of the first phase of works - now expected to finish in early December.

Traffic flow through York has suffered major problems since the work, to build a safe underpass for Copmanthorpe traffic, started at the beginning of September.

It is largely blamed on drivers attempting to avoid disruption by cutting through the city.

Roy Templeman, City of York Council's director of environment and development services, urged anyone not going in to York to stay on the main road.

"At the moment, the public perception is that certain routes are better than others, but when they get on to them they are stuck and can't get out again," he told City of York Council's shadow executive.

"It is still marginally quicker to stay on the A64 rather than go through the city.

"There have been 72 per cent changes in normal traffic flows on certain roads and at certain times."

He said the worst affected roads were those in the city centre and at the bottom of Fulford Road. The council is also to launch a major publicity campaign with local radio stations, including those in Leeds and Hull, in an effort to control the flow of traffic.

Emergency talks between the Highways Agency and the council on Friday sounded out 36 different options for improving traffic flow on the A64 - but it is still unlikely any real change to congestion on the road will be seen before December.

"In terms of the amount of traffic getting through the site (on the A64) before the beginning of December, there will be very little difference," said Mr Templeman.

"The road is just not physically there to be used by that much traffic.

"In terms of phase two, there will be about 30 per cent additional capacity, which is enough to allow the bulk of traffic to stay on the A64."

Phase two of the work starts in the New Year.

The council has put back city centre work projects planned for the near future, including resurfacing in Foss Islands Road, Layerthorpe and Lawrence Street, to avoid further congestion.

Eleven concrete beams were today being put in place at the roadworks site to support the new carriageway and form part of the new underpass.

Updated: 11:24 Wednesday, October 31, 2001