A pressure group set up to improve the safety of the A1079 is “not optimistic” that a project to dual a one-mile stretch of the busy road will go ahead soon enough to meet the needs of the region.
The project suffered a major setback recently, with East Riding Council announcing that it would cost a whopping £26million to dual the A1079 between Barmby Moor and Wilberfoss, instead of the £14million previously estimated. In January 2015, the authority secured £8million of funding from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership towards the scheme. However, as the dualling scheme is expected to cost significantly more than originally anticpated, it has decided to utilise £6.3million of the cash to ease congestion at the Killingwoldgraves and Dunswell roundabouts on the A1079, near Beverley.
The authority said the dualling scheme remains a “top priority” and the council will continue to explore funding options for delivering this scheme, including a potential future devolution deal which may include a long term funding pot for transport investment.
Campaign group Action Access A1079 says the project would have a positive impact on the local economy, but does not expect it to happen for the next few years.
Grahame Hicks, chairman of the action group, said: “I am not optimistic that the project will go-ahead quickly enough to meet the needs of the region but I hope that the powers that be prove me wrong.”
He added: “The main reason that the project is important is because the economy of the East Riding is impacted by how poor the A1079 is.
“The A1079 is the strategic route linking Hull and the Humber with York, North Yorkshire and all points North. If, as a result of it being single carriageway for almost the whole of its length, trade is restricted and travel times can’t be guaranteed, then business won’t move into the area, jobs won’t be created and there will be increased commuter traffic on a route that struggles to cope now.
“It could be argued that it is not just the East Riding that is impacted, but the other regions I have mentioned too. The government cannot pretend that it loves the idea of a Northern Powerhouse if that does not include the East Riding. The population of Pocklington will grow by 30% over the next 15 years and the infrastructure needs to be improved to cope with that.”
Meanwhile, East Riding Council has secured an additional £16.7 million to help maintain ‘A’ roads in the area, including the A1079. The council submitted a successful bid through the Local Growth Fund to the Department for Transport for the extra funding to improve the condition of the main roads in the East Riding. The funding will be awarded over five years starting from April 2016. The road sections to benefit in the first year include the A1079 Deepdale to Shiptonthorpe.