Promises on improving the A64 have been made before but never materialised

THE issue of congestion along the A64 has long blighted the region. Campaigns have been launched and promises made, but this important stretch of road continues to suffer from tailbacks. In many ways, it has become symbolic of the state of transport in our region.

The stretch between York and Scarborough suffers from mainly being single carriageway and voices have long called for the road to be widened. It is having a strangulating effect on the region’s economy and hurting businesses on the coast.

As Sarah Czarnecki, president of the York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, writes in today’s newspaper: “Hospitality firms in Scarborough, Filey and Whitby have related horror stories of day trippers in West and South Yorkshire eschewing their region’s native coastline and heading to the beaches of Lincolnshire and the North-East, rather than face hours of nose-to-nose traffic on the A64.”

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That should ring alarm bells and make improvements to the A64 a key priority for the Government.

The A64 near the Hopgrove Roundabout, York. PIC: Simon HulmeThe A64 near the Hopgrove Roundabout, York. PIC: Simon Hulme
The A64 near the Hopgrove Roundabout, York. PIC: Simon Hulme

Ministers are set to decide which roads projects will receive funding from the Government’s Network North scheme, using money from the scrapping of the Northern legs of HS2, and upgrading the A64 is among those being considered for inclusion.

The Tory mayoral candidate for North Yorkshire, Keane Duncan, has made widening the A64 one of his key election pledges. He joins a long line of politicians to use the A64 as a soapbox. But people who have to navigate the A64 are always left disappointed.

While promises to spend money on the A64 from central Government would be welcome, people will be understandably sceptical about progress being made. There have been far too many false dawns for people to have confidence in promises of improvements to this stretch of road.

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