A19 safety improvements planned after Rishi Sunak and Kevin Hollinrake back family's campaign

Further safety improvements are being proposed for the A19 following a campaign by the family of a crash victim which has been backed by Rishi Sunak and his fellow North Yorkshire MP Kevin Hollinrake.

National Highways is to begin a consultation in spring, which will look at the potential closure of some central reservation gaps on the busy road which carries around 40,000 vehicles per day.

The announcement follows a briefing from National Highways with Mr Sunak and Mr Hollinrake along with Katy Rose, the daughter of 83-year-old Sonia Rose who died in 2016 when a van drifted through a gap and hit her car travelling in the opposite direction.

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While that gap at Mount Grace Priory, north of Thirsk, was closed in 2021, it is now hoped further safety improvements can be carried.

Sonia Rose died in a crash on the A19 in 2016

Detailed design work has been completed on 13 access points between the Cleveland Tontine and Trenholme Bar and further work has been done on options for 20 accesses south of the Tontine from Ellerbeck down to Knayton.

The plans include the closing of more central reservation gaps and some access points, new junction layouts, and improvements to safety barriers, signs and road markings.

Mr Hollinrake, who represents Thirsk and Malton, said: “This is a busy road and it can be a very dangerous stretch of road because of the many access and crossing points. As constituents will know I have previously worked on this issue a number of times and have been in close discussions with Highways England over the years about how we can collectively make this road safer for its users.

"The proposals will make the road safer for everyone. When this programme is complete it will be a big improvement. I hope it will also be of comfort to the Rose family to know that something good came from the tragedy of Mrs Rose’s death.

The A19 is one of the busiest roads in North Yorkshire

"I also want to assure constituents that local residents, farmers and landowners will be consulted about the proposals.”

Mr Sunak, MP for Richmond, said: “I live very close to the A19 and know how challenging it can be at peak times to get on to it and leave it safely. Local people who also live alongside the route and are most directly impacted will have the opportunity to comment on the plans in the coming months.

“What has been achieved so far at Mount Grace has already made a difference and I look forward to seeing the further improvements.”

National Highways Department Representative Ben Dobson said: “The safety of road users is paramount. We have listened to local concerns and since 2018 we have closed gaps at Stony Lane, Mount Grace Priory, Dalton Piercy and Elwick. We’ve also introduced a ban on u-turns on a five-mile section of the A19 between Sheraton and Wolviston, and upgraded central reservation barriers at a number of locations.

“We are now looking at introducing safety measures at a number of other locations in North Yorkshire and in the spring will launch a statutory public consultation to seek views on the proposed measures and their design. Subject to funding and the outcome of the consultation, work could take place in the autumn.”

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