How major road near Harrogate could be re-routed

The stretch of road was most recently closed since on May 30
The stretch of road was most recently closed since on May 30

The blueprint for a multi- million pound realignment of a major road near Harrogate with a history of landslips is to go before the public.

North Yorkshire County Council is inviting people to comment on the proposed realignment of the A59 at Kex Gill, with plans to be on show at the Norwood Social Hall on Broad Dubb Road this Saturday (July 30).

The stretch of road has remained closed since May 30, after the discovery of a crack in the road. NYCC contractors have started work below the A59 to reinforce a wall, and there is the potential to see the road open to single lane traffic on the road in early July.

However a permanent repair is still being designed, and it is likely the road will need to close fully to carry this out, say NYCC.

Speaking at a meeting held with concerned business owners from across the area earlier this month North Yorkshire County Council Executive For Highways, Coun Don Mackenzie, said that while work was underway to see the road re-opened the long-term solution was a realignment.

He said: “Over the last 18 months we have been doing a lot of work seeking a diversion route, because in the longer term the highway going through Kex Gill is just totally unsuitable.

It is built on a ledge on a steep slope and there is inherent instability problems there.

“We are getting very close now to getting to a preferred option, we have done some wide spread consultation on this.

“We are going to make a bid to central government for around £40 million to divert the route permanently away from Kex Gill to the north of the current alignment of the road.

But again that is for the future, construction on that is unlikely until the end of 2019 at the earliest.”

Once comments are collected from residents these will be reported to NYCC, which is due to decide on its preferred route at its meeting on July 24.

It is estimated that construction could take 14 months to complete.

NYCC has said that the route to the other side of the valley is part of the strategic transport plan to improve east to west connections, between the east coast and Humber ports and Lancashire.

Following a public consultation last year on the potential to realign the road NYCC also said it has carried out ground investigations, surveys and is in contact with landowners and businesses to determine transport needs in the area.

Coun Mackenzie said: “The current closure highlights how important it is to realign the A59 at this point. It is vital for local businesses and residents and the county’s wider economic growth.

We received a supportive response to our public consultation and are moving ahead as quickly as possible. We want to engage local people throughout the process, keeping them informed and listening to their views, so I hope people will take advantage of this opportunity to examine and comment on the proposals.”

Members of the public can drop in between 10am and 3pm. County Council officers and the authority’s consultants, WSP, will be on hand to discuss the proposals. Visitors can make written or verbal comments on the plans.

The closing date for comments is 12 July 2018.