North Yorkshire MP fears plans to dual section of A64 could be shelved

Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake
Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake
0
Have your say

Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake is “extremely concerned” that plans to dual a section of the busy A64 single carriageway in North Yorkshire could now be shelved.

The Highways Agency is looking at options to ease congestion on the A64 between 2020 and 2025 as part of a £15bn road programme, with work on course to start in 2022.

The A64 Hopgrove scheme has been identified for development in the programme.

Conservative MP Mr Hollinrake has said he is concerned that the Hopgrove scheme – which plans to dual the carriageway between Hopgrove Roundabout and Barton Hill – could now be shelved.

Mr Hollinrake raised the concerns after Highways England told him traffic flow assessments indicated there may be a need to build a number of bridges to cope with the extra volume of traffic coming on to the dual carriageway from neighbouring areas.

Highways England said in a letter to Mr Hollinrake: “This work has identified the need for a number of bridges along the route, which impacts the overall scheme cost projections, and this, along with our projection of the benefits of the scheme, provides a benchmark for value for money to the public purse.”

Highways England said the information has been fed back to the Department of Transport as part of its consideration for the make up part two of the Government’s road investment strategy, which is expected to be announced late this year.

Mr Hollinrake was due to discuss the issue yesterday at a meeting with Secretary of State, Chris Grayling MP.

Mr Hollinrake, said: “The project, which was supposed to get underway in 2022, is already behind schedule.

“I have been campaigning for years, alongside Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill and the A64 Growth Partnership, which includes businesses, local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnership, for an extension of the dual carriageway for which there is a clear economic case.

“I have been told repeatedly that it is on schedule and so it is extremely disappointing to learn that there may now be some serious risks to work going ahead.

“I shall continue to do what I can to make sure that the scheme is approved and work starts as soon as possible.

“This road, on average, carries twice the amount of traffic recommended for a single carriageway and is a major bottleneck and barrier to investment in my constituency and on the East Coast.

“We must deliver this improvement.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Decisions on any further strategic road investments will be made in the second Road Investment Strategy, which will be published in late 2019.”