MUCH needed SAFETY improvements on a crossroads branded one of the worst accident black spots in Ryedale will definitely begin this year.

The Highways Agency has confirmed it will begin phase two of work at the junction at Barton Hill, on the A64, later this financial year.

County Councillor Clare Wood, who represents the area at County Hall, has been campaigning to see improvements at the junction.

She said she will be delighted when the work begins and hopes that it will definitely begin this year.

“Delighted is an understatement on how pleased I will be when this actually starts,” she said.

“Let’s hope that it will be this year. This is a compromise but it is a great start. The sooner it starts the better,” she said.

Asset manager at the Highways Agency, Mandy Foster, speaking at a Ryedale Area Committee meeting last Wednesday said that work would begin this year, but not in April, as previously reported.

A total of 18 projects, including Barton Hill, are due to go ahead over the next financial year and include surfacing works at West Heslerton, Rillington Fields and the Pickering Interchange to Brambling Fields, among others.

In a report to the committee Mandy Foster said that overnight closures around October should be expected to allow surfacing works to be completed before winter.