Calls for major re-think on A64 upgrade
It’s time to “bite the bullet” when it comes to the upgrade of one of Yorkshire’s main arterial routes, a former MP has said, calling for cross-party support for a major new project.
Baroness Anne McIntosh, former Thirsk and Malton MP, has long supported the upgrade of the A64 from York to Scarborough to ensure the beleaguered community is not stifled.
Now, after a Government pledge to boost funds for northern growth, she says the time is right to upgrade not just part of the road – but the whole route.
“We really need a proper dual carriageway right the way up from York to Filey and Scarborough,” she said. “We need to think big.
“This is a one off opportunity. We need to bite the bullet to allow the community to grow and develop as it should. I would push for a full upgrade. I really think we need to have cross party support and get all the MPs involved.”
The news comes as current MP Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake reveals he has had high level talks with Highways England over the future of the A64.
He is calling for the road to be ‘dualled’ – converted to a dual carriageway – right up to Barton Hill.
This, instead of the previously proposed flyover, would be hugely beneficial to the whole community he says.
“It’s a bottle neck,” he said. “Everybody travelling on that road is experiencing delays. It used to be some of the time, now it’s all of the time. There’s more and more traffic on the road that, by Highways England’s own studies, carries double the amount of traffic than is recommended for a single carriageway.”
Highways England is now conducting a feasibility study into the viability of the proposals which, if changed, would then need to go through a change process with the Department for Transport.
This study is due to be published at the end of March and would have to be passed by Transport Minister Chris Grayling.
Mr Hollinrake, acknowledging the costs involved would rise significantly from £105m up to £250m, said it would make a huge difference.
“It is a significant increase in cost,” he said. “There’s more money in the system now and we want to make sure we get our fair share of that in North Yorkshire, because I don’t think we have in the past.
“Dualling the road would make a massive difference in terms of people’s daily lives. In terms of getting in and out of York, getting to the east, getting on and off the A64. It’s absolutely essential both from an economic perspective and from a safety perspective that we get this investment.”