Bypass: Decades of promises and despair

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Following on from Anne Nicholl’s letter of May 15, ‘Don’t forget the villagers’, concerning a bypass for Rillington - I would like to submit a ‘History of the proposed Rillington bypass’, which was marked out in 1939, but halted by the outbreak of war.

It is a sad tale of over four decades of promises, elation, disappointment and disbelief, as the promises were broken by successive government ministers. Of being top of the priority list over the decades, to being taken off the list altogether in 2006. Over these decades traffic volume has increased, lorries have got even bigger, creating further congestion, hazards, and health and safety risks. The case doesn’t need making out, it is obvious, and has been made and accepted over many years, but it appears to fall on deaf ears, we are sidelined, we don’t count. The Highways authority is committed to the free movement of traffic, not people, if we were a county road then politics and representation would come into the equation, but we are not and therefore as a Yorkshire community we are not represented, only parliament and the government highways authority can deal with our case, and we are ignored.

Our local MPs have, over the years, fought our case, but have met with the same frustration and negative response and failed, we are no further forward than 1939! As the enclosed “history” shows. We hope Anne McIntosh MP will be able to persuade government that the case has been made, of our basic right to safety.

A history of Rillington bypass

A bypass was first suggested prior to the outbreak of war in 1939, and a route south of the village was pegged out, but with the outbreak of the war it was abandoned.

22.2.1973; Sir Paul Bryan MP for Ryedale stated, “With the coming of bypasses for Tadcaster, York and Malton, the time has come to put pressure on the authorities for a bypass for Rillington.

5.4.1982; Sir Paul Bryan MP said, “I continue to press for bypasses for Selby, Riccal, Barlby and Rillington.

4.2.1987; The parish council said, “The case for a bypass for Rillington has been considered several times over the past 50 years, and each time being shelved for one reason or another.

24.3.1987; Elizabeth Shields MP, in an Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons, highlighted in detail, “...the pressing need for a bypass for Rillington.”

7.12.1987. John Greenway MP, “...confirms that Rillington is shown in the White Paper for a planned start of construction in April 1991.

1998 to 1999; John Greenway MP continues to stress the need to build the bypass as a matter of urgency, and at the earliest opportunity. When the suggestion for dualling the A64 to Scarborough was raised, John Greenway stated that, “ was unthinkable that the decision (to build the bypass) should be reversed.”

7/8/9.9.1989; The Department of Transport mounted a detailed, comprehensive presentation on the plans for the Rillington bypass; showing three alternative routes and inviting discussion and comments. A start would be made in 1992.

Soon afterwards John Watts MP Minister of Transport proposed dualling of the A64 to Scarborough and removed Rillington bypass from the programme.

23.8.1995. John Watts stated that the dualling of the A64 could not be given a high priority, nor was it practical to revert back to the provision of a bypass for Rillington (Rillington disappeared off road improvement plans), and John Greenway stated, “Where in England today is there a community similar to Rillington, on a major trunk road, leading to one of the top six seaside resorts in the country, which does not have a bypass?”

24.11.2000; Rillington bypass is back in the programme, once again a detailed, and comprehensive exhibition is mounted in the village hall, discussion and comments are invited.

28.11.2001. John Greenway says, “I do not believe there is any danger of this plan being shelved.”

4.7.2002; John Greenway MP with Lawrie Quinn MP, had met the Transport Minister David Jamieson MP, and it was reported that “Rillington bypass has been given the green light”, work would start in 2006 and take 18 months to complete.

2006; The Government had set up a Yorkshire and Humberside Consortium to prioritise road transport proposals. This consortium shelves Rillington bypass for a further 10 years.

Colin and Rosalind Wicks

Scarborough Road