DCSIMG

Junction’s ‘positive’ impact

Traffic jam free Malton for the first time in months, as the new A64 Brambling Fields junction work nears completion. Pictured, the Norton side slip road is already open.  Picture by Andrew Higgins  123811k   18/09/12

Traffic jam free Malton for the first time in months, as the new A64 Brambling Fields junction work nears completion. Pictured, the Norton side slip road is already open. Picture by Andrew Higgins 123811k 18/09/12

The Brambling Fields junction on the A64 has had a “small positive impact” on congestion in Malton and Norton.

Figures reveal the slip road, originally budgeted at £5.4 million, attracts around 600 vehicles, including 75 HGVs, over a 12 hour period on an average weekday.

A traffic survey carried out on a weekday in both November 2012 and November 2013, also showed a “small but potentially significant reduction” in overall traffic passing through Butcher Corner.

The slip road was designed to ease congestion and to improve the air quality at Butcher Corner, which has been plagued with high levels of nitrogen oxide due to emissions from passing vehicles.

In a North Yorkshire County Council report to last week’s Ryedale Area Committee, officials say there has been an indication of an improvement in air quality at the crossroads in Malton.

However, as there is “no conclusive evidence” of a significant reduction in traffic, it cannot be said whether the improved air quality is a by product of the slip road.

“It is not clear whether this reduction is purely due to the upgraded junction or daily fluctuations in traffic and comparable traffic count data at Butcher Corners is not available from before the junction was improved,” said David Bowe, corporate director of Business and Environmental Services.

The council now intends to monitor the junction for the next 12 months before considering whether to use £350,000 of funding which has been set aside for complementary measures, such as a ban on HGVs crossing County Bridge.

Brambling Fields was jointly funded by Ryedale and North Yorkshire councils. Opening in September 2012, it endured a troubled construction with the Highways Agency’s work hampered by one of the wettest periods in history. It means that Ryedale District Council paid an extra £350,000 on top of its initial contribution. North Yorkshire County Council is also likely to face a similar bill, although a spokesman said it is still in discussions with the Highways about the final costs.

 

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