POLITICIANS and business leaders have announced plans for a joint campaign to turn stretches of the main road between York and Scarbroough into a dual carriageway.
The move follows a report by Highways England which concluded that only a dual carriageway, and not previously planned improvements, would relieve traffic problems beyond the Hopgrove roundabout of the A64, east of York.
The new campaign, to be launched next week with the support of MPs, local companies and the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership, aims to secure a funding guarantee of £250m for the next stage of improvements.
Kevin Hollinrake, the Conservative MP whose Thirsk and Malton constituency covers much of the A64, said there was a “big consensus” of views that dualling the road was vital to the economy.
He said: “The A64 has a terrible records of fatal accidents - we have seen eight deaths in less than a year.
“Highways England’s own figures show that the A64 carries twice the maximum of traffic for a single carriageway road.”
Julian Rudd of Ryedale District Council, who also represents the Local Enterprise Partnership, said there was overwhelming support for a dual carriageway but that inertia and bureaucracy had so far prevented it.
He said: “The Highways England report is very welcome news, but we have been at this stage before and we must ensure that this time the dual carriageway and other improvements are actually delivered.
“Politicians and businesses are united and we will not rest until the A64 is upgraded, including a dual carriageway between York and Malton. This will require a full commitment by Government to the provisional allocation of £250m.”
THE ROUTE TO IMPROVEMENTS
Highways England has committed funding to improve the A64 from the Hopgrove roundabout, where it meets the York outer ring road, to Barton Bill - a distance of around six miles. But the nature of the improvements have yet to be finalised.
Campaigners also want a further section of the road, near Malton, to be dualled. But the final stretch to Scarborough would remain a single carriageway.
Highways England announced yesterday that some 111 minor improvements to the A64 were on the drawing board for the next four years, including a scheme to improve safety at the blackspot Barton Crossroads.