The biggest improvement scheme for the A64 for decades reveals that the stretch between Crambe and Musley Bank, just west of Malton, could be dualled.
In addition, the area between the traffic-choked Hopgrove Roundabout to the Jinnah Restaurant between York and Malton, is also being put forward to the Department of Transport for improvements.
But Julian Rudd, Ryedale District Council’s head of economy, told its policy committee last week that it could take up to 10 years for the two schemes to become a reality.
He said that the latest figure for dualling the entire A64 form York to Scarborough was now put at £500 million and had been deemed “unaffordable”.
English Heritage is also concerned about a potential route because of the wealth of archaeological remains with some of them being of international significance dating back to the Mesolithic age.
Mr Rudd recommended the committee give £20,250 towards a consultancy which will also be jointly funded by Scarborough Borough Council, North Yorkshire County Council, York City Council, and the Highways Agency, as the first step towards putting forward a strong case for investment in the key east-west trunk road.
It was vital that the work was done now because only schemes which were worked up on the drawing board would stand a chance of getting the green light from Whitehall.
Another major improvement spot earmarked is the junction from Sand Hutton to the Food, Environment and Rural Affairs campus where major expansion is planned to attract new businesses.
In addition, Mr Rudd, told councillors, the part of the A64 between the Brambling Fields interchange near Norton and Staxton roundabout was also seen as in need of upgrading.
The aim, he said, was to look at future funding schemes but added they were unlikely to be carried out before 2021.
“Major highway infrastructure is important for the Ryedale area and the A64,” he said. “An enormous amount of research is needed in planning the upgrading – it is absolutely essential.”
Caroline Goodrick, deputy council leader, said she was “really enthusiastic and wholeheartedly behind the scheme” and urged that public consultation should be carried out. “We need to look forward with the A64 scheme because it will move Ryedale’s economy forward.”
Cllr Edward Legard said he was “borderline” in his decision on the A64 upgrading “bearing in mind what has happened in the last 20 to 30 years.”
Support for the A64’s upgrading came this week from Anne McIntosh, MP for Thirsk and Malton whose constituency covers a large section of the trunk road. She said: “I congratulate the York and North East Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for agreeing a Memorandum of Understanding with all the councils along the route and for including the A64 in its submission for funding to the Government.”
She said she had now written to George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Vince Cable, the Business Secretary and Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, urging them to award funds urgently to the A64 which has a very poor safety record, horrendous congestion yet is a key artery enabling businesses, tourists and families to go about their daily lives. It has to be a top priority to improve the A64.”