The decades-long saga of the campaign to improve the A64

Coast-bound traffic built up on the A64. PIC: Gary Longbottom
Coast-bound traffic built up on the A64. PIC: Gary Longbottom

In a funding announcement on Monday, the A64 was once again left out of Government plans for road improvements.

It is the latest snub to the proposed dualling of the major road into Scarborough in a saga that has been running for at least 30 years.

In 1989 the Department for Transport put forward proposals to dual the A64 from York to the then new Seamer bypass.

However in 1995, the Government scrapped the £100 million plans. Over the following decades, several campaigns and schemes to dual the road have been put forward.

The economic benefits that road improvements would bring, the annual increase in traffic, and a series of fatal crashes have prompted many across the region to call on the Government to take action.

There has been an almost continuous campaign since the 1990s, backed by every sitting Scarborough and Ryedale MP.

In 2004 Highways England was authorised by the Department for Transport to conduct a new study into road improvements.

Dualling of the A64 between Scarborough and York and a bypass for Rillington was one of 28 shortlisted trunk road schemes across the region to be given a priority rating in 2005 but was not selected by the Regional Transport Board for Yorkshire and the Humber.

A series of improvements were made in 2008, though not to the road itself. Safety improvement works for cyclists, pedestrians and bus passengers, costing £4.5 million, were undertaken

described as a ‘token gesture’ by Scarborough councillors.

David Cameron pledged to consider the plans in 2014 but the scheme still wasn’t given the go-ahead.

Most recently, the A64 Growth Partnership, made up of local businesses, councils and the LEP, formed to work alongside MPs Robert Goodwill and Kevin Hollinrake on securing the funding.

The Government has yet to commit to dualling the road.