Businesses Join Councils and MPs in New Partnership to Improve the A64 and Local Economy
Businesses, MPs, local authorities, trade organisations and the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership, joined forces today to launch the A64 Growth Partnership to increase the pressure on government for major long-term investment in the A64 between York and the Yorkshire coast.
The A64 Growth Partnership wants action to remove one of the most notorious 'pinch-points' in Yorkshire's main road network – to deliver economic growth, investment and to address safety concerns.
At the meeting, chaired by Barry Dodd of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership, the A64 Growth Partnership welcomed a recent feasibility report by Highways England recommending the A64’s dualling between Hopgrove roundabout and Barton le Willows, close to York, but said this must form part of a long-term investment in the road including further dualling and improvement schemes.
The A64 Growth Partnership said that not only would this help deliver the economic benefits the area needs, but most importantly, it will help overcome safety concerns which have been a serious problem for many years.
The Partnership said it was keen to work with government and Highways England, the organisation responsible for the scheme.
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Here's what the speakers and attendees at the event had to say...
Barry Dodd, Chairman of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership, said:
“Having the combined support of our area’s growing international businesses, MPs, local authorities, trade associations and more, means we now have the presence to be heard. Our great Yorkshire coast not only provides the essential route for many businesses, but it is also the route for the whole of Yorkshire, to their tourist and leisure space. We must make it a pleasure for everyone to use, not what it is today. Improving the connectivity of the transport network east-west across our area is vital for our growth, and nationally, we must work with everyone to make our united voices heard and make this investment happen.
Bill Bartlett, Corporate Affairs Director for McCain Foods GB Ltd, which has been based in Scarborough for almost 50 years, said:
“Improving the infrastructure of the A64 is all about reliability, connectivity and accessibility. This investment is critical. Not just for our business, but for all businesses in the corridor between York and Scarborough.”
Emma Smailes from The Federation of Small Businesses, said:
“The A64 is constantly being brought up as an issue for growth for small and medium sized businesses across the whole of Yorkshire, not just North Yorkshire but West Yorkshire as well. The FSB would like to see the promised investment in the A64 quickly coming to fruition, with dualling introduced as far east towards Scarborough as possible.”
Dr Andrew Swift, Director of the Science Division at Capita and CEO at world class science service company, Fera Science, based at the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus, Sand Hutton just off the A64, said:
“As everyone will appreciate, the A64 is dual carriageway from the A1 until you arrive at the stretch between York and Sand Hutton itself where it is restricted to a single carriageway. That presents some difficulty in unseen traffic jams. It is clearly a nuisance for our staff and it sets a poor impression for our international visitors. It is ironic that the most difficult part of the journey from California to Sand Hutton is the last five miles.”
Graham Bramham, Kingspan Limited, a global building envelope systems and solutions company with a major manufacturing facility at Sherburn – Malton, said:
“The A64 bottleneck and the York junction impacts on our business seriously, due to an additional one hour delay on our transport times from here, compared to standard transport times.”
The dualling of the A64 has long featured as a priority, amongst local councillors and politicians, and furthering this historic commitment, local MPs Robert Goodwill and Kevin Hollinrake also spoke of their parliamentary support to drive commitment in support of the A64 improvements.
Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, who continues to highlight the importance of the A64 to wider government initiatives and who has been campaigning for the scheme said:
“The A64 east of York is notorious across Yorkshire and beyond as a bottleneck and we can't tolerate this any longer. Businesses and civic leaders have quite rightly come together to continue to put pressure on the government for investment and change.”
Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough, said:
“I was delighted to announce in 2015 as Roads Minister that £250m was allocated for improvements in the Hopgrove area of the A64. I look forward to working closely with the A64 Growth Partnership to seek Government backing for a series of major investments to provide effective and safe access to the Yorkshire coast and support economic growth.”
Cllr Derek Bastiman, Leader of Scarborough Borough Council said:
“Together with local and regional colleagues I have been lobbying for much needed upgrades to the A64 for many years. We will now be able to continue this vital work with extra strength and depth through the new A64 Growth Partnership.
“The benefits of an upgrade to dual carriageway between Hopgrove roundabout and Barton Le Willows which Highways England has now acknowledged is a more suitable option, should not be underestimated. It would transform the economic fortunes of the A64 corridor and surrounding areas, as well as provide much needed relief for the millions of business, leisure and commuter journeys made on the road annually.
“The partnership aims to work closely with Government departments to progress the feasibility study in a timely manner, seek a definite commitment to the dualling and continue to lobby for additional improvements to what is one of Yorkshire’s vital east to west routes.”
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Highways, said:
“While the A64 is the responsibility of Highways England, North Yorkshire County Council is fully behind this campaign to press for improvements that support the authority’s ambitions for better east-west transport connections across the region. Upgrading the A64 will bring benefits for businesses and tourism as well as locals.
“In conjunction with this campaign, the County Council will work closely with Highways England to bring about measures to increase road safety on the A64, particularly following the two
tragic double fatalities that have occurred on the road in recent weeks.”
Cllr Luke Ives, Chair of Policy at Ryedale District Council said:
"The A64 is the main access to Ryedale and it is wholly inadequate. For far too long we have endured the delays and harm to our communities and economy and this Council has been at the forefront of joint efforts to secure major investment in this route. I am encouraged to see that some dualling is now being recommended – but this is not a final agreement and we need dual carriageway right through to Malton, as well as safety improvements along the route."
People interested in the campaign,can ask to be put on the Partnership mailing list by emailing email@example.com