Residents raise A59 Kex Gill closure concerns at public meeting

The contractor begins preparatory work to allow access to the slope ahead of'installing the drainage solution.
The contractor begins preparatory work to allow access to the slope ahead of'installing the drainage solution.
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The county council has reiterated their urgency to reopen the A59 at Kex Gill during a public meeting on Wednesday. January 20.

More than 100 residents attended the meeting at the meeting at the Millstones Restaurant on the A59 for an update on the road closure.

Areas of movement and instability on the slope above the A59.

Areas of movement and instability on the slope above the A59.

Coun Don Mackenzie, executive member for Highways, gave a presentation on the situation and told residents they are looking into a multi-million long term scheme to re-align the road.

He said: “Our contractor is working remote from the road and is currently creating a track up the slope to transport the equipment they will need to the exposed location where they will be working.

"They are fully aware of the urgency of the work and will progress it as quickly as possible, given the terrain and risks at the site.

"The County Council’s long-term aim is to deliver a major re‐alignment of the A59 at Kex Gill and we have identified this as a priority in our Strategic Transport Prospectus for improving east‐west connectivity. The cost of such a scheme is currently estimated at in the region of £33m.”

"Coun Mackenzie added that, although the contractor would be working seven days a week, the site would not be suitable for night working.

The stretch of road, which runs across high ground between Skipton and Harrogate, has been closed since January 5, when cracks were detected on the hillside after heavy rain.

North Yorkshire County Council’s contractors began work on Monday, January 18 to install a temporary solution designed by geotechnical engineers to drain the water from this area.

The works are expected to take up to six weeks and, during that time, the county council will examine traffic management following concerns raised over access to minor roads.

County Councillor John Fort said: "We have to be careful about this, as these roads are not suitable for the type orvolume of traffic that would use the A59. However, we are looking again at traffic management and will update parish councils shortly.”

The County Council is also to re-examine signage around the closure, including signs indicating that businesses are open as usual.

Harrogate Borough Councillor Christine Ryder said: "As a local, I understand people’s concerns and am keen that we do all we can to address these where possible and to keep people informed of progress.

“The meeting highlighted concerns about the condition of some local roads. The County Council has committed to carry out any safety repairs that require immediate attention on these roads as they occur during the closure period and to review the condition of local roads after the Kex Gill work is complete.”