After all, it is nearly eight years since Anne McIntosh – the then Thirsk and Malton MP – raised the issue with David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions.
“The quality and capacity of the road system in Yorkshire has been, and is, a major issue,” said Mr Cameron in January 2014.
He expressed similar sentiments to Baroness McIntosh’s successor Kevin Hollinrake in November 2015, stating: “The people in Yorkshire have long felt that there hasn’t been a fair enough deal in terms of transport funding on roads and rail.”
Both battles are still to be won – the Government’s refusal to deny speculation that both Northern Powerhouse Rail, and the eastern leg of HS2, is to be scaled back is very ominous.
Yet, from a motoring perspective as the COP26 climate change summit begins, it is important to remember that public transport is so patchy in the east of the county that delays on the A64 have serious economic and social consequences for Ryedale, Yorkshire’s resorts and attempts to attract new investment and jobs.
One of the country’s worst bottlenecks, this first phase must be the precursor of further improvements along the whole route to Scarborough. And, given the scheme’s wider importance to the whole region’s economy, and the efforts required just to reach this point, public pressure must be maintained. After all, the A64 would already have been upgraded by now if it was located in the South East.
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