Improving major route ‘would be boost for economy’

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Improving the A64 would have a major impact on Ryedale’s economy, councillors have been told.

The A64 which is one of the principal routes through North Yorkshire and connects the coast to Leeds and York.

Councils in the area have already asked for £50m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund – designed to help local economies to help pay for a series of schemes along the route.

North Yorkshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and York Councils are behind the bid which, if approved, would support the widening of the road at pinch points and in some cases “additional dualling”.

The Government is expected to make a final decision on Local Growth Fund bids in July,

Members of Ryedale District Council’s policy committee have agreed to help pay for a consultancy report which will also be funded by Scarborough, North Yorkshire and York councils, as the first step towards putting forward a strong case for investment in the key east-west trunk road.

Councillors were told of hopes the stretch between Crambe and Musley Bank, just west of Malton, could be duelled. In addition the area between the traffic choked Hopgrove Roundabout to the Jinnah Restaurant between York and Malton, is also set to be put forward to the Department of Transport for improvements.

But Julian Rudd, Ryedale District Council’s head of economy, told its policy committee that it could take up to a decade for the two schemes to become a reality.

It was vital that preparatory work was done now because only schemes which were ready would stand a chance of getting the green light from Whitehall.

Coun Luke Ives said improving the A64 would have the biggest impact of any scheme in terms of economic benefits for the local area.