A PROPOSED eco-town project in York would bring more traffic gridlock without vital cash for new Park&Ride sites, according to a new report.

Associated British Foods is expected to submit a planning application to create about 1,300 homes on the site of the former British Sugar factory and old Manor CE School next year, with City of York Council drawing up a draft blueprint of guidelines for how the scheme should move forward.

Public consultation on the document covering the York Northwest development should start by the end of the year, if this is approved by the authority’s executive next week, but officers say traffic created by the development could cause severe headaches on the city’s road network unless action is taken.

The Press has launched its Get York Moving campaign to urge the Government to provide funding for three new Park&Ride sites, at Poppleton, Clifton Moor and Askham Bar, through the first phase of the Access York scheme, with the city facing competition from rivals across the UK.

A report by York Northwest project manager Sue Houghton and project officer Ann Ward warned the development would have a “significant” impact on congestion and delays in York without initiatives to increase walking, cycling and public transport use being brought in.

Their findings said that, unless this happens, hold-ups would rise by 24 per cent and mean many junctions “operating over capacity”, with the A59 and Outer Ring Road also being stretched.

Coun Steve Galloway, the council’s executive member for city strategy, said: “If we are to provide more homes and jobs in York without causing unacceptable levels of traffic congestion, a substantial investment in transport will be required.

“The A59 Park&Ride project is an essential enabler for most of the York Northwest site.”