A solution to one of Yorkshire’s worst road traffic bottlenecks could be on the horizon after years of waiting.
Highways England officials are understood to be considering a £250m scheme to widen a six-mile section of the A64 near York from single to dual carriageway.
It’s a pinch point that has ruined many a journey for Huddersfield drivers going to and from the east coast.
If the dual carriageway scheme goes ahead, it will mean easier journeys for drivers who use the A64 between the Hopgrove roundabout, east of York, and Barton Hill (near the Jinnah restaurant).
Local politicians of various parties have been urging ministers to widen sections of the A64 for years.
Kevin Hollinrake, the Tory candidate for Thirk and Malton in the general election, believes that £135m plans for a flyover at Hopgrove will be soon be dropped and the money transferred to a more cost-effective dual carriageway scheme.
He has met ministers and Highways England officials in recent weeks and months.
Mr Hollinrake said many people were familiar with traffic jams in the vicinity of the Hopgrove roundabout, but the idea of a flyover at this point was “ludicrous”.
“What I want them to do is reallocate that money and a further £100m to put a dual carrriageway between Hopgrove roundabout and the dual carriageway section at Barton Hill.
“I believe they (highways officials) are going to support this as a project. It will go through an options process in the next 12 months and will need to get the support of the Transport Secretary.
“I believe I have already got his support, and the Roads Minister, to sign a ‘change control order’ to reallocate this money.
“Assuming this all checks out we should see these road improvements deliver a dual carriageway down to the Jinnah restaurant around 2022/2023.”
Mr Hollinrake said the road widening proposal was making some progress but it had been “very frustrating” process.
He said the section of the A64 in question was badly congested and also an accident blackspot with blind spots and bad junctions.
“It’s an accident blackspot and an economic bottlebeck. I think there have been eight deaths in the last 12 months.”
Getting support from senior highways officials had been a difficult process, he added.
“One of the most challenging things is getting in front of the right people.”
He said the A64 widening plan was backed by a range of politicians and the A64 Growth Partnership.
After meeting Transport Secretary Chris Grayling earlier this week, Mr Hollinrake said the minister had understood the issues.