New hopes of an early go-ahead on the £250m scheme to dual a bottleneck stretch of the A64 have been raised, with the Government's Highways England (HE) Agency announcing that it has completed a feasibility study on the scheme.
For decades, politicians and business leaders have been campaigning for more dualling of the trunk road to combat traffic queues often of several miles heading to and from the Yorkshire Coast and Ryedale.
The aim, says HE, is to improve traffic flows between West Yorkshire and the Ryedale and Scarborough areas by improving the stretch of the busy trunk road between The Hopgrove roundabout and Jinnah Restaurant at Whitwell.
A spokesman for HE said: "The study also sought to confirm the problems and issues within the area of the junction and to consider the options which could address them."
He said the present layout of the A64 at the Hopgrove confluence of junctions "results in queues and congestion which causes delays and accidents. This scheme proposes to reduce these by improving road standards."
The next moves, says HE, is to continue investigations and work on options.
The scheme, it says, was highlighted in the Government's Road Investment Strategy and aims to improve road standards, reduce accident and casualty figures, end traffic conflicts, reduce delays and congestion, improve journey times and support planned developments.
Four options have been put forward for the upgrading scheme:
1. Utilise the existing alignment of the A64 to reduce cost and environmental impact, including dualling of the road near Hopgrove Roundabout to Jinnah Restaurant.
2. Combination of partial upgrade from the roundabout to a new roundabout at Towthorpe Moor Lane.
3. Dualling for 1.8 km.
4. Dualling to the northwest of the existing alignment, then crossing east to join the existing A64.
Among those leading the campaign for upgrading the A64 have been MPs Robert Goodwill (Scarborough and Whitby), Kevin Hollinrake (Thirsk and Malton), the Local Enterprise Agency, North Yorkshire County Council, Scarborough Borough Council and Ryedale District Council.
All will be putting forward their views but are expected to give a general thumbs-up in principle to the dualling.
The MPs have repeatedly said the work will have a significant benefit to the local economies. National road traffic forecasts predict a rise of up to 28 per cent in traffic using the A64 by 2035.
However, so far no start date has been given for the scheme.