£1m for A1 junction improvements

rip. The A1 motorway. GS0204082a.
rip. The A1 motorway. GS0204082a.
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More than £1million has been set aside to improve the A1/A59 junction to make way for future housing developments.

Junction 47 has long caused headaches for commuters, with tailbacks inevitable at peak times.

North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) is set to spend £1.09million on the road works, with up to £800,000 of this coming from government funding.

The road improvement is one of three projects to share £12.1m of funding which the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) successfully bid for from the Government’s Local Growth Fund.

County Coun Gareth Dadd (Con, Thirsk) executive member for business and environmental services, said: “I am delighted at the success of this funding bid, which opens up opportunities for businesses in areas across North Yorkshire in pursue their ambitions while creating high-quality jobs and expanding the county’s economy.

“The growth deal puts local communities, businesses and the public sector at the centre of decisions about where investment can have the most impact.”

The county council said that the A1/A59 project will increase capacity at junction 47.

This increase will also accommodate the additional traffic that is expected from future housing developments in both York and Harrogate and enable faster, more reliable journeys between the two places.

County Coun Bill Hoult (Lib Dem, Knaresborough) said this doesn’t mean that the proposed 2,500 homes at Flaxby are a shoo-in.

He said: “Any improvements to traffic flows will be welcome, personally I would like to see more lighting around that roundabout, it is something that people have complained to me about before.

“I don’t read this as the works ahead of the Flaxby development, they have not yet even submitted an application, but we are also expecting to see an increase in traffic from the Manse Farm development which has been given permission.”

However Borough Coun Ivor Fox (Con, Knaresborough Scriven Park) said he thought developers should be making a ‘significant contribution’ to the costs of the road improvements made to accommodate extra traffic.

A spokesperson for Flaxby developers, Skelwith Group, said they are in pre-application talks with both councils and the highways department.

He said: “We are talking about potential highways improvements that may need to be made as part of our development plans.

“It is very likely that we will contribute to any scheme for the improvement of the A1/A59 roundabout, and other significant highways improvements.

These funds will be provided through the planning process to mitigate extra traffic, as is the case with any development.

“Specific figures for our contribution will become clearer as our plans are finalised and our dialogue with the county council progresses.”

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Major developments to create jobs and boost economic growth in North Yorkshire have received millions of pounds in Government funding.

The three projects will see:

improvements to the A1/A59 junction between Harrogate and York

flood defences for land west of Skipton town centre suitable for industrial development;

investment in Malton roads to enable the construction of a new business and technology park, agri-business park and new livestock market.

The York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) successfully bid for the funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund.

As much as £800,000 towards this £1.09m North Yorkshire County Council project has been awarded through the Local Growth Fund. Work is expected to start in about two years.