GRIDLOCK at a York roundabout is harming Scarborough’s economy and deterring tourists, councillors have said.
More than £7 million was spent on supposed improvements to the Hopgrove roundabout in York, but Cllrs David Jeffels and Penny Marsden have said problems are as bad as ever.
They claim that people who travel through York to visit Scarborough are being significantly delayed - and that the town’s businesses are suffering as a result.
There are also fears that a bad experience of tailbacks may put holidaymakers off Scarborough and Ryedale altogether.
Cllr Jeffels said: “A great deal of money was spent and the benefits so far are questionable as far as the east coast is concerned.
“They do not seem to have improved traffic flow on the A64 as everyone hoped they would.
“It is a bottle-neck. And once people come through Hopgrove they often have another long queue of slow-moving traffic.”
Cllr Marsden added: “It may have advantages for York but not the Yorkshire coast. The queues can go back miles and miles - it is horrific.
“We all know people who use it and say it is a problem. It’s not just the coast that depends on it. There are other businesses, like Flamingo Land, too.”
The Highways Agency are aware of the issues and a report, currently being prepared on the value of the improvements, is expected to be published imminently.
But Cllr Marsden said she hoped seasonal variations in traffic will be taken into account. During school summer holidays, traffic flows at the roundabout are approximately one third higher.
David Bowe, North Yorkshire County Council’s corporate director for business and environmental services, said: “We will get back in touch with the Highways Agency. We will not be able to take the lead on this. But we can challenge them.”