The Road To Hell?
With commuters, lorry drivers, caravanners, tourists and tractors all vying for space, the A1079 is no-one’s idea of a fun road to drive. But things might be looking up…
Campaigners say dualling part of the main road artery running through East Yorkshire could encourage more businesses to set up in the area.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) hopes to secure £13 million to improve a one-mile stretch of the A1079 between Pocklington and Wilberfoss.
It would see a dual carriageway and dedicated cycle lanes created on this section of a road which, in the absence of a local rail link, is vital for both commuting and freight traffic.
Greg Knight MP, whose East Yorkshire constituency includes Pocklington, is one of those to throw his weight behind the council’s application to the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership. He said: “If approved, these works will not only make people’s day-to-day lives easier but it will help business and could provide a further boost to jobs in the area.”
If approved, these works will not only make people’s day-to-day lives easier but it will help business and could provide a further boost to jobs in the area.
A decision is expected by July and, if successful, campaigners hope it can kick-start further improvements on a road notorious for accidents. Action Access A1079 has long called for more upgrades to the road, which is also an important tourist route, carrying ferry traffic to and from Hull.
Chairman Graham Hicks said: “This will improve the journey time reliability on this stretch of the road and boost the likelihood of inward investment as businesses find Pocklington a better place to set up business.”
The fact the plans have been unveiled against a background of continuing austerity and national funding cuts will also further sate critics who have welcomed the council’s decision to freeze council tax bills for the fourth consecutive year.
ERYC says its budget for 2014/15 includes an extra £2.25 million for highway repairs and flood alleviation measures, after the public recently highlighted both as priority issues. The council insists there will be no major reductions to services, or closures of any public council-run facilities.
George Matthews, who runs a road haulage business near Market Weighton, said: “It’s very encouraging to see the two local authorities looking to work together to deliver some much-needed improvements on the A1079 which, let’s face it, are long overdue. Yes we’re in a period of austerity but there are some projects that can’t wait any longer. We really need this and other improvements, particularly on the Kexby to York stretch.”
“Let’s not forget though, council cuts means some services will suffer, I have no doubt about that, and that’s why it is so important the council invests in the important areas which affect everyone who has to pay their council tax,” added Mr Matthews.
Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of the council, said ERYC’s separately funded capital programme would see around £117m invested over the next year, rising to £225m between now and 2017/18:
“The work will result in major improvements to essential infrastructure such as housing, schools, community facilities and local transport,” he added.