At a meeting with Highways England at the end of January, I strongly urged them to make the dual carriageway to Barton Hill a priority over the flyover, which has been proposed. This would mean that Highways England would have to go through a ‘change of spending process’ with the Department for Transport, but it would be a far better and more effective solution. I believe that a flyover would only move the traffic pinch point further up the A64.
I have been working with the A64 Growth Partnership (A64GP), which includes the Local Enterprise Partnership, NYCC and Ryedale DC and businesses, to make sure that we achieve the best possible outcome. They are in agreement that Highways England may need to change their current focus or increase the allocated spend (currently estimated at £105m) to include the dual carriageway to Barton Hill (currently estimated at £170m to £250m).
Highways England is producing a report in the Spring which will examine whether the flyover is the best option and how much it will cost. Highways England has publicly confirmed that the options to be considered for the scheme include extending the dualling beyond the Hopgrove Roundabout towards Barton Hill. I am working closely with the A64GP and Highways England to ensure that all relevant information is considered within this appraisal. During the first half of 2017 Highways England will begin external consultation with key partners on the findings of the feasibility work. A full design for the agreed scheme must be in place for 2020, following extensive investigatory work and full public scrutiny. If more funds are needed, Highways England will make that application in November 2017.
The A64 Growth Partnership is also developing its evidence base, taking into account future economic developments such as the potash mine, offshore wind, GCHQ expansion, shale gas exploration, changes in clinical provisions in Scarborough and York Hospitals and traffic/air quality issues in Malton and Norton, to support the case for major investment in the route.
I shall continue to raise many questions in the House and have meetings with ministers and the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, who has expressed his support until we get a resolution.