Work on A59 Kex Gill set for autumn

A £60m scheme to realign the A59 at Kex Gill could start this autumn after an invitation for tenders went out this week.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 3:42 pm
The A59 at Kex Gill has been subject to many landslips.
The A59 at Kex Gill has been subject to many landslips.

Following the confirmation of Government funding and planning approval earlier this year, North Yorkshire County Council issued the invitation to contractors to put in bids for the work, which marks the latest stage in the work to secure this major trans-Pennine route for generations to come.

The A59 between Harrogate and Skipton is an important east-west link not only within North Yorkshire, but also into West Yorkshire, Lancashire and Humber ports.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “We are pushing forward with this scheme to provide a safe, reliable route for residents, businesses and visitors.

“This stretch of road has experienced closures in recent years because of land slips.

“These have disrupted travel, enforced long diversions and been costly.

“The realignment of the route will provide much better connectivity for all road users.”

Coun Stanley Lumley, Member for Pateley Bridge division, added: “This is another step towards the delivery of this long-anticipated scheme.

“Locals, commuters and visitors will all benefit from enhanced safety and reliability of the road. We look forward to work beginning.”

The County Council is aiming to start construction of the scheme on site as soon as possible.

Work could start as early as autumn this year, but this is subject to satisfactory completion of all the necessary statutory processes. 

Where it runs through Blubberhouses Moor, the road has been hit by regular landslides - most recently in 2018 - which have resulted in closures and diversions through other North Yorkshire towns and villages.

There have been five major landslides at Kex Gill since 2001, with one closing the road for eight weeks.

The county council has agreed to provide about £4m towards the £60m project, with the rest funded by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Announcing the funds in January, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “I know that residents have been frustrated by frequent road closures at Kex Gill caused by landslips in the area.”