The York Outer Ring Road (YORR) scheme, led by the council, will:
- improve York’s highway network
- reduce congestion
- move car journeys out of the city centre
- enhance the pedestrian and cycle experience with improvements to sustainable transport along the network
The latest plans to progress the York Outer Ring Road scheme were approved by the Council’s Executive at a meeting in September 2021.
A planning application for the scheme will be submitted in 2022.
The York Outer Ring Road (YORR) dualling scheme concerns the section of the A1237 from A19 Shipton Road to A1036 Little Hopgrove, and involves the upgrade of 6 sections of the northern YORR, including 5 roundabouts at:
- Clifton Moor
- Wigginton Road
- Haxby Road
- Strensall Road
- Monks Cross
The performance of the YORR will be improved by widening the existing single-carriageway road to dual-carriageway roads in both directions.
Roundabouts will be enlarged with additional approach lanes, increasing the capacity for traffic to flow between and through the roundabouts.
These 5 roundabouts will be enlarged to a similar size and standard as the recently completed A1237/B1224 Wetherby Road roundabout, completed in 2019.
Background and the plan ahead
We'll update this page as the YORR project progresses:
- the need for YORR improvements
- prioritisation of the northern YORR
- construction stages and duration
- benefits of the scheme
- improvements for pedestrians and cyclists
- landscaping and biodiversity
- sustainable construction
- local employment and skills opportunities
- direct engagement with landowners
- public engagement
- September 2021 Executive Report
The need for YORR improvements
The upgrade of the road and the roundabouts will help to reduce congestion and journey times, encouraging traffic out of the city centre in line with our carbon reduction and air quality ambitions, and onto larger roads where flows can be managed effectively.
We will not be introducing any 'grade-separation' at junctions, using flyovers and underpasses, as this would be significantly more expensive than current proposals, and would not be cost-effective due to the prohibitively high cost of the structures involved and extra land required, for example for slip road construction.
We will however be constructing new pedestrian and cycle subways underneath the A1237 as part of these works.
This will be supported by other council projects to improve public transport, cycling and walking in the city centre, in order to ‘lock in’ the benefits that the YORR improvements will deliver.
The funding commitment of £38 million by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, £25 million from the Department for Transport, along with additional contributions of £8.6 million (which includes the council’s own contribution of £3.6 million) has enabled us to progress this scheme.
Surveys of traffic flows at roundabouts on the A1237 which have already been upgraded in recent years have shown that journey times have reduced by up to 4 minutes even with a 30% increase in the number of vehicles passing through the junction (evidence from the A59/A1237 roundabout, upgraded in 2014).
York’s draft Local Plan shows where development is anticipated to take place over the next 15 years, including areas set aside for housing and new jobs. Reducing existing journey delays and improving active travel options will help us to manage the extra traffic as more people commute to work and travel to access education, services and other facilities.
Prioritisation of the northern YORR
The northern sections of the A1237 have been prioritised as the most beneficial to be upgraded at this time, with the largest impact on reducing congestion and delays.
We don't have the level of funding to progress upgrading further stretches of the A1237 to the west of the city, especially the busy sections which cross the River Ouse and the East Coast railway line. This is due to the prohibitive expense of the new structures, such as bridges, required here.
However we continue to pursue further funding opportunities to help realise the aspiration of full dualling of all of the A1237 in the future.
Dualling of the A64 east of Hopgrove
The A64 is a strategic road (trunk road) and is operated and maintained by Highways England, not the council. Proposals for the A64 east of Hopgrove were put forward for funding via the government’s Road Investment Strategy 3 (RIS3).
Construction stages and duration
Subject to planning consent, construction work on the YORR is anticipated to commence in mid-2023 for 2 years, with completion in 2025.
The scheme involves the construction of a bridge over the York to Scarborough railway line, and another over the River Foss.
The majority of the widening will be constructed to the north of the existing A1237 Ring Road and will be off-highway, which will allow the existing 2-way traffic flow to be maintained for the majority of the construction stage, minimising any disruption to the travelling public.
Further updates relating to construction activities will be provided as the scheme develops.
Order of construction work
The order in which construction will take place will depend upon how the contractor who wins the tender for construction chooses to carry out the works. Much of the widening works will be carried out “offline” without affecting the flow of the existing A1237.
The majority of the construction work will be carried out during daylight hours, although there will be some work done at night. We'll keep noise and disruption to any nearby properties as low as possible. Access for emergency services will be maintained at all times.
Benefits of the scheme
The YORR scheme will bring a number of benefits to the area:
- enhanced connectivity to the A1(M), cross country routes and other destinations
- reduced end to end journey times around the northern section of the York Outer Ring Road
- enhanced journey time reliability for cross-county movements
- reduced localised congestion and delays on approach and exit from the junctions
- removal of through traffic from York City centre due to the decongestion of the Outer Ring Road route
- improved safety through the reduction in road accidents
- enable better access to employment, retail, health and leisure sites in York which serve the surrounding population
- enable access to and support the allocation of approximately 2,200 homes in the immediate vicinity of the YORR
- an ecological landscape strategy with a commitment to comprehensive landscaping, tree planting and enhancements to bio-diversity
Improvements for pedestrians and cyclists
As an important part of the scheme we're looking to upgrade pedestrian and cycle facilities, creating an orbital cycle and pedestrian route to help encourage the uptake of active travel. The scheme proposes:
- significant additional pedestrian and cycleway networks, creating safe and attractive routes helping to link residential areas with key employment, retail and educational facilities
- retaining and enhancing all public footpaths and bridleways, with some new connections and safer crossing facilities
- a new underpass at Clifton Moor
- 2 new underpasses at Haxby, in addition to the 2 that exist at present
- a new underpass at Strensall Road roundabout
Landscaping and biodiversity
The project includes a comprehensive landscape scheme, retaining existing trees and hedgerows where we can, and employing a policy of ‘net gain’ to provide substantial additional tree planting and landscaping along the route. We're aiming to introduce:
- tree and woodland planting
- species-rich hedgerow planting
- specimen trees and feature planting at key locations
- species-rich grassland including wildflowers
- a system of sustainable drainage ditches
The landscaping scheme will incorporate a range of biodiversity measures including planting to benefit pollinators. It will complement the local environment, integrating the new road corridor into the fabric of the existing landscape.
We're also committed to the efficient use of natural resources for carbon absorption, and will use energy-saving measures wherever we can to reduce the carbon footprint of the scheme.
We're committed to sustainable construction practises and will seek to re-use or recycle construction materials and earthworks on-site where possible, or seek to re-use materials on other highway schemes across the City. By diverting construction waste which would normally head straight to landfill we'll help to reduce costs.
We also aim to utilise green site accommodation, which is better insulated and includes a range of energy saving measures in order to reduce the carbon footprint of the scheme.
We'll utilise the efficient use of natural resources such as solar panels at site compounds during construction, to help tackle the problem of the Earth’s diminishing resources.
Local employment and skills opportunities
We aim to support local businesses by using local labour, training and apprenticeship opportunities wherever possible.
Direct engagement with landowners
We are engaging with landowners that may be affected by the scheme.
As part of the public engagement, we have met with landowners to understand their views around the scheme’s proposals.
We are keen to have discussions with any landowners who are willing to offer additional land for tree planting and landscaping.
The Executive Report provides information on the outcomes of a public consultation that was held in 2020.
As part of the consultation there was a virtual exhibition to provide residents with an opportunity to learn more about the scheme’s proposals.
Information packs containing a letter, leaflets and a questionnaire were distributed to members of the public and businesses in specific postcode areas. In addition to this, there was also an online questionnaire which offered residents and businesses the opportunity to provide feedback.
Over 3,500 comments from residents and stakeholders were received about the proposals. The consultation was then evaluated.
There was widespread support for the scheme's proposals. 79% of respondents supported the scheme proposals.
Some respondents provided feedback around facilities at some locations for pedestrians and cyclists. Following this feedback, a number of proposals to improve active travel were then included in the scheme.
September 2021 Executive Report
The latest plans to progress the York Outer Ring Road scheme were approved by the council’s Executive at a meeting on Thursday 30 September 2021.
A number of changes were recommended to the Council’s Executive. These changes are outlined in the Executive Report.
*This is part of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.
York Outer Ring Road - Major Projects Team
York Outer Ring Road (YORR)