SCARBOROUGH’S MP has told traders to forget dreams of dualling the A64 - but hope instead for more modest improvements.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting with Scarborough Chamber of Trade, Robert Goodwill said small improvements were more likely than the £400 million investment needed to make the road dual carriageway along its full length.
“With the local councils, we are looking at a Plan B, to use the existing corridor and having a two-plus-one lane system to allow some overtaking along the road,” he said.
“That would be a lot less than the £400 million needed to dual the whole road.”
He said another improvement might be the introduction of a 50mph rather than 40mph speed limit for heavy good vehicles. “I will be pressing hard to get improvement to the A64 but we are going back to small-scale improvements.”
In early-2010 a £155,000 research project into the road by Scarborough Council, Ryedale District Council, North Yorkshire County Council and York Council, was announced.
And last year Scarborough Council officials unveiled new plans to widen stretches of the road at various points with extra dual carriageways.
The proposals from consultants Jacobs UK could cost £25 million and are part of a study to be handed to Transport Secretary Philip Hammond.
Traders met Mr Goodwill at the Lysander Hotel to raise issues of concern.
Mr Goodwill said the British economy was “bumping along” during the current economic difficulties, adding: “I would rather it was bumping along rather than facing the problems other countries are facing.”
He said Scarborough was faring better than other seaside towns around the country, despite the loss of some big local companies such as Pindar, Greaves and the Scarborough Building Society.
He said the hoped-for £3 billion investment into potash mining to the northern end of the borough could be a tremendous shot in the arm for the area.
Chamber president Janet Jefferson said she believed one of Scarborough’s biggest problems was persuading people to stay and spend in the town.
“A lot of people are telling us that they are staying for four hours and then going,” she said. “They come, park for four hours and then leave, having a meal on the way home. We have to get the message out that parking is free in the evenings and somehow persuade them to stay longer.”
Ongoing work to improve Scarborough’s night-time economy was vital, she added.