Councils join forces to ask Ministers for A64 funding

The A64 at Norton

The A64 at Norton

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A BID for £50m to pay for improvements to the A64 between York and Scarborough has been submitted to the Government by North Yorkshire councils.

The scheme would involve widening and in some cases dualling stretches of the road in an effort to speed up journeys between York and the coast.

Earlier this week Prime Minister David Cameron admitted the quality and capacity of Yorkshire’s roads was a “major issue” after he was challenged on the state of the A64 by Thirsk and Malton MP Anne McIntosh.

The bid is jointly backed by North Yorkshire County Council and York, Ryedale and Scarborough councils.

York Council leader James Alexander said: “We are fully supportive of this bid, which would reduce delays and improve safety on a key strategic route in the York area.

“In particular we welcome the opportunity to increase capacity at the Hopgrove roundabout and resolve safety concerns at a number of junctions east of York where accidents have occurred in recent years.”

The councils are hoping for a share of the Local Growth Fund, set up by the Government last year in response to a report by former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine calling for more money to support efforts to unlock regional economic growth.

County Coun Gareth Dadd, North Yorkshire’s executive member for highways, said: “Whilst many people might have aspirations of a dual carriageway all the way to Scarborough, realistically there is not going to be enough Government funding to allow this in the foreseeable future.

“The Local Growth Fund gives us the opportunity to try to do something to improve this important North Yorkshire road and we hope the Government will approve our bid.”

The Government is expected to reveal which projects will be given money from the Local Growth Fund in July.

If supported, the A64 improvements would be carried out over six years.

Speaking on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said he would “look carefully” at proposals to improve the A64.

james.reed@ypn.co.uk

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