The York Outer Ring Road (YORR) project has been underway since 2017 when we were allocated approximately £38m for improvements to the A1237 using funds from the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund. This would allow us to upgrade 7 roundabouts from Wetherby Road to Monks Cross.
In early 2019 the upgrade of the A1237/B1224 Wetherby Road roundabout was completed, now featuring increased capacity through 3-lane entrances and 2-lane exits.
In October 2019 the Department for Transport (DfT) awarded the council £26m from its Major Road Network fund to dual the YORR from A19 Rawcliffe (Shipton Road) roundabout to A1036 Little Hopgrove (Malton Road) roundabout. This investment is great news for York and the wider region.
Following the announcement we are now looking to combine the 2 project schemes by securing planning permission for 1 overall scheme. This has several key benefits, including seamlessly integrating the 2 projects, managing the design and construction in the most cost effective way, and minimising disruption for road users.
The need for YORR improvements
As well as reducing delays, the improvements are necessary to cope with predicted housing and employment growth projections in the New Local Plan.
The performance of the YORR will be improved by upgrading the roundabouts and widening YORR to a dual carriageway on the northern section of the A1237 outer ring road.
The existing congestion on the YORR:
- leads to longer journeys and poor journey time reliability
- limits the efficient movement of people and vehicles
- encourages motorists to travel through the city centre
- results in higher congestion levels and poor air quality in city centre
Once improvements are complete the benefits will be:
- reduced congestion
- improved traffic flows
- improved journey times to the north of the city
- traffic encouraged out of the city centre
- use of 'strategic highways' with managed traffic flow
Increasing the capacity of the ring road will complement the city’s transport policies and help to enable more sustainable travel options to be delivered.
Improvements for drivers
The improvements to the roundabouts will create an increase in junction capacity similar to changes made at the A1237/B1224 Wetherby Road and A1237/A59 junctions. Creation of a dual carriageway on the northern section of the A1237 outer ring road will remove 'bottlenecks', and shorten journey times.
Surveys of traffic flows at the A59/A1237 roundabout, which was upgraded in 2014, 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.
As part of the YORR scheme we'll be looking to help drivers to use the increased roadspace efficiently. We'll use improved signage and road markings at the roundabouts on site, which will help us to ensure that drivers are encouraged to use new dual lanes as effectively as possible.
Improvements for pedestrians and cyclists
Where possible we're looking to upgrade pedestrian and cycling facilities throughout this scheme to improve connectivity. This may feature subway underpasses at the roundabout junctions and an orbital route for walking and cycling parallel to the A1237, linking communities to the north of the city such as Haxby and Earswick, making it easier for those outside the city centre to get around sustainably.
Construction stages and duration
Further upgrades to the YORR are scheduled to commence in late 2022 and will last for 2 years, with completion of the scheme in 2024/25.
Further updates relating to construction activities will be provided as the scheme develops.
Landscaping and environmental impact
There will be a scheme of landscaping which forms part of these proposals, as with most highway improvement projects.
In this case we'll aim introduce:
- a range of native species tree planting
- hedgerow planting
- grass seed mixes
- wildflower meadow planting
*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)