York park and ride plans boosted by Chancellor's statement

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Funding for two big public transport schemes in York is to be speeded up, the Chancellor George Osborne has announced in his Autumn Statement.

Plans to replace a park and ride site at Askham Bar and to build a new site on the A59 near Poppleton have both been given "accelerated approval".

City of York Council said the announcement meant it would be able to request final approval for the schemes much sooner than previously thought.

The schemes will cost £22m in total.

'Significant step'

The two planned park and ride sites would help free up space in York city centre which would enable work on environmental improvements to begin, City of York Council said.

Councillor Dave Merrett, cabinet member for city strategy, said the Chancellor's announcement was a "significant step forward" for York.

"The schemes will enable us to have a city-wide park and ride system that can be used by 7.1m visitors each year and address another difficult roundabout on the outer ring road," he said.

Mr Merrett added that the two schemes would take about 300,000 cars off the city's roads and reduce congestion levels.

Planning consent had already been granted for both sites and work on the detailed design could now be re-started, the council said.

Construction work on the two sites is expected to start in early 2013, opening by summer 2014.

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