We've allocated up to £38m for improvements to the A1237 York Outer Ring Road (YORR) in order to reduce congestion, using funds from the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund*.
The proposal is to upgrade the roundabouts, between the Wetherby Road and Monks Cross junctions, over the next 4 years.
The improvements at individual junctions will provide increased capacity, but only when all 7 roundabouts have been improved will we see the overall combined benefits of the improvements.
Map of York's ring road showing the 7 junctions to be improved
Current and upcoming works
We'll publish details of planning proposals and scheduled works as they become available. Given the scale of the project, we're not in a position to publish proposals for all 7 junctions at this time.
View further details of the proposed and upcoming works at:
Stat up to date with the progress of the works with the York Outer Ring Road newsletter.
The need for roundabout 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 widening the approaches to 7 roundabouts on the 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 at all 7 junctions 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
Improvements for drivers
The improvements create an increase in junction capacity similar to changes made at the A1237/A59 and A1237/A19 junctions.
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're looking to 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.
Each roundabout upgrade will reduce journey times in the immediate area. The road designs in this scheme are a step towards making the YORR roundabouts dual carriageway standard, and towards accommodating anticipated Local Plan development.
Improvements for pedestrians and cyclists
Where possible we're looking to upgrade pedestrian and cycling facilities at all 7 roundabouts.
At the Monks Cross junction there are no existing pedestrian or cycling facilities to upgrade but we'll continue to look out for all potential opportunities to implement pedestrian and cycling infrastructure in the future.
For the Wetherby Road Junction we're exploring upgrades to the existing public rights of way network, to link Rufforth to Knapton, Northminster and Oakwood Business Parks, Acomb and the city centre, via the existing A1237 underpass near Knapton.
Construction stages and duration
Upgrades to 7 roundabouts on the YORR will be completed within a 4 year programme.
We'll start work on those junctions with the least technical difficulty and with the least impact on residents, before moving on to other junctions in the later stages of the project.
Further updates relating to construction site activities will be provided before work commences and will continue during the project.
Impact of construction work on the existing traffic
During the construction period localised delays inevitable, however we'll:
- try to minimise disruption to local residents, businesses and the public
- aim to keep noise, vibration and disruption to nearby properties as low as possible
- keep road closures to an absolute minimum and for short periods of time
- maintain access for emergency vehicles at all times
A lot of the construction work involves widening of the existing infrastructure and can therefore be undertaken without disrupting traffic for the majority of the time. However there will be times where the new work will need to be tied into the existing road layout and this will create some disruption during the construction period. Wherever possible this work will be undertaken at off-peak times.
We'll keep noise and disruption to any nearby properties as low as possible.
The need for any road closures will be kept to an absolute minimum and will only be for short periods of time, generally overnight, for specific activities such as the final resurfacing work.
Landscaping and environmental impact
There is a scheme of landscaping which forms part of these proposals, as with most highway improvement projects.
In this case we'll introduce:
- a range of native species tree planting
- hedgerow planting
- grass seed mixes
- wildflower meadow planting
Dualling of the YORR
Dualling of the YORR is something we will carry out in the future. Funding for the dualling project was approved by the council’s Executive in December 2018.
The junction improvements are a “stepping stone” to future dualling of the YORR and, where we're able to, we're looking to do as much work as we can now to ensure reduced costs and minimal disruption during future works.
The current work to improve junctions on the YORR will significantly reduce journey times and is part of a wider strategic plan to improve economic productivity in the city by providing better access to jobs and homes.
*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.