The fight goes on – that’s the message from Ryedale after upgrade work on the A64 was delayed.
While the Government has given the green light to North Yorkshire’s other trunk road being dualled between Scotch Corner and Penrith, the increasingly busy A64 York to Scarborough road through Ryedale is on hold.
The leader of Ryedale council, Cllr Keane Duncan, who is also Norton’s representative at County Hall, said: “We must keep on fighting for the A64 upgrade our district so desperately needs.
“It is not over yet. Dualling would give Ryedale’s economy a significant boost, improve road safety and cut queues throughout the year. We are using every opportunity to persuade Government that investment in the A64 will create jobs, save lives and be a major asset to Ryedale’s economy.”
Senior bosses of Highway England are due to meet the County Council’s Transport, Economy and Environment scrutiny committee later this month to receive an update on the current situation and get an indication when the dualling – due to be carried out between The Hopgrove Roundabout and Whitwell-on-the-Hill at a cost of £250m – is likely to go ahead.
Meanwhile, another chink of light in the A64 campaign came from Kevin Hollinrake, Ryedale’s MP who said he was hopeful that the A64 would be included in the second Roads Investment Strategy (RIS2) when the announcement of schemes is made on Saturday, November 2.
He and Scarborough and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill have been pressing the Government to end the years on uncertainty over the upgrading of the road.
Both say they are campaigning hard at Westminster for a positive decision as a priority.
Further pressure is coming from the influential Local Enterprise Partnership for North Yorkshire which has the ear of Government and is the voice of hundreds of businesses in Ryedale.
The need for a major upgrading of the A64 was first highlighted in the 1980s and since then business and local authority leaders have stressed that the volume of traffic throughout the year between West Yorkshire and the Yorkshire coast has rocketed year round.