Multi-million pound upgrade for Harrogate motorway entrance

North Yorkshire County Council is working with Highways England to carry out the 3.5 million improvements
North Yorkshire County Council is working with Highways England to carry out the 3.5 million improvements

A multi-million pound investment is in the works to combat congestion and safety concerns at Junction 47.

North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) is working with Highways England to carry out the £3.5 million improvements to the key Harrogate junction where drivers face peak hour queues, delays and standing traffic that can extend onto the A1 (M) mainline.

The improvements are part of the overall NYCC effort to address East to West connectivity across the A59 and A64, alongside opening up the area to address employment and housing issues.

NYCC cabinet member for Highways, road safety, access to the countryside (including Broadband, mobile phone coverage) public transport, Coun Don Mackenzie said: "The £3.5m scheme which will provide traffic signal controls on the roundabout and widen the slip roads off the A1(M) will also help provide capacity in the shorter term to cater for traffic from the proposed employment and housing developments in this location.

"Should all the proposed developments happen in the longer term there is likely to be a need for further improvements, but this scheme has been designed to cater for traffic over the next few years and to ensure that it does not compromise the ability to deliver the major improvements that will be required at the junction in the longer term."

Problems at the junction were identified in planning applications and assessment work for the emerging Harrogate District Local Plan and the Local Enterprise Partnership.

Coun Mackenzie said: "J47 forms a key part of NYCC's Strategic Transport Prospectus, which prioritizes East-West connectivity in the county (A59, A64).

"Additionally, the area around J47 has been identified by HBC as one of growth and development potential for employment and housing and the County Council wishes to facilitate such development plans by ensuring that there is adequate highways infrastructure to support them.

"There is the opportunity to build a new railway station close by, and there is the availability of plenty of economical heat and power, for 40,000 homes, from NYCC's Allerton Waste Recovery Park in that location."

Work is expected to begin within the 2017/2018 financial year on the improvements.