I very much welcome the news that more works are to take place to close dangerous central reservation gaps and make junctions safer on the busy dual carriageway between Teesside and the A1.
Highways England has confirmed that further works would take place within this financial year at a meeting I attended with neighbouring Richmond MP, Rishi Sunak, with whom I have been campaigning for improvements, along with the family of the Thirsk pensioner who died on the road.
The central reservation gap at Stony Lane near the Cleveland Tontine, where Mrs Sonia Rose, 83, died when a vehicle strayed across the gap and crashed head-on into her car was closed earlier this year.
Ben Dobson, Highways England’s project manager, said the adjacent Mount Grace junction improvements would include acceleration and deceleration lanes once land had been purchased to accommodate the extra lanes. Mr Dobson said that final recommendations about improvements to more than 40 accesses and junctions on the A19 would be published in October.
Also at the meeting was Katy Rose and her brother John whose mother, who lived in Carlton Miniott, died in the 2017 Stony Lane accident. Ms Rose said she was pleased with the progress being made. “It was a significant step to get the central reservation at Stony Lane closed and the family are pleased that momentum at Highways England is being maintained with the support of our local MPs.”
I am delighted to have been able to support Mrs Rose’s family, alongside Rishi, to help make sure that there will be no further tragedies on this stretch of road. It is good to know that Highways England is delivering on its promises to make this road safer for everyone.
Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond (Yorks), in whose constituency the fatal accident involving Sonia Rose took place, said: “The A19 in North Yorkshire has three times more central reservation gaps than a typical dual carriageway so it is gratifying to hear that Highways England is making good progress making this important North-South route safer for everyone.”
The study into the A19 junctions was commissioned last year following criticism of the road by the coronor who held the inquest into Mrs Sonia Rose’s death. The coronor’s call for safety improvements was backed by the two MPs and led to a campaign “Close The Gap” by the Darlington & Stockton Times.