Time running out to win over highways chiefs on benefits of dualling A64 in Yorkshire, says MP Kevin Hollinrake

Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake
Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake
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Campaigners hoping for a vital road link across North Yorkshire to be turned into a dual carriageway fear time is running out for the scheme to be included in the Government £25bn's long-term vision.

North Yorkshire MPs Kevin Hollinrake and Robert Goodwill have lobbied Transport Secretary Grant Shapps over the proposed dualling of a single carriageway section of the A64 from York to Scarborough.

They fear the scheme will not be included in the Department of Transport’s Road Investment Strategy (RIS-2), a vision for the road network in 2050 which is expected to be announced in November, meaning they will have to wait for decades for another opportunity to fund it.

Supporters of the dualling of the A64 say it would transform the economic fortunes of Ryedale and the Yorkshire coast, making a massive difference to millions of drivers using the road for business, leisure or commuting.

Read more: Why dualling of A64 east of York is irrefutable and highway chiefs must think again – Kevin Hollinrake

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The MPs say government agency Highways England's assessment of the value for money from dualling the single carriageway stretch of road - which helps officials decide what to include in RIS-2 - does not take into account future development in the area.

The proposed dualling of part of the A1237, also known as the York Outer Ring Road will create lots of extra traffic, they say, on top of what will be generated by housing developments and increased business activity.

The two Tory MPs say Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps MP and Roads Minister Baroness Vere have promised to speak urgently with Highways England about the issue.

And they have asked Highways England to carry out an urgent review of its business case for the dualling of the A64 between Hopgrove and Barton Hill.

Mr Hollinrake said “We had a very good meeting. I am grateful to the new Secretary of State and Roads Minister for taking this hugely important matter up so promptly. We do not have a moment to waste.

"The Department of Transport is expected to announce its transport investment priorities in the Autumn, so it is clearly imperative that all the necessary business case reviews have been completed well before that date so that the Transport Department is left in no doubt about how important these much needed improvements are for the region.

"If we fail, we could have to wait decades for another opportunity.”

The draft version of RIS-2 was published last year and set out a ‘deliberately ambitious’ vision for the strategic road network (SRN) in 2050.

Highways England will be given £25.3bn to deliver the strategy, funded from Vehicle Excise Duty levied on most vehicles in the UK.

The agency is due to meet in mid-October with Mr Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, and Mr Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, as well as York Outer MP Julian Sturdy, Selby's Nigel Adams and East Yorkshire's Greg Knight to update them on the progress of its review and the expected outcome.