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Safety work starts on crash blackspot at Barton Hill
IMPROVEMENTS have started on a North Yorkshire crossroads which has been branded one of the region’s worst accident blackspots.
The Highways Agency has started work on the first phase of a safety scheme at the junction at Barton Hill, on the A64 between York and Malton, near Whitwell-on-the-Hill, following a number of accidents in recent years.
A campaign to improve the crossroads has been running for 30 years with the support of North Yorkshire coroner Michael Oakley.
The work was originally due to begin in December and be completed by the end of March. However, this was delayed because of design issues, and the second stage of the scheme has yet to be approved.
County councillor Clare Wood, who has been one of the leading campaigners for improvements at Barton Hill, said it was vital for the work on the stretch of the A64, close to the turn-off for Castle Howard, to be carried out as soon as possible.
“The scheme has not only been highlighted as crucial by local residents, but also by the North Yorkshire coroner, who has been repeatedly concerned because of the fatal accidents which have occurred,” she said, adding that one of the main problems stemmed from lorries crossing the dual carriageway and traffic speeding down the hill towards Malton.
The initial work at the junction will include better signage, clearing vegetation and trees, resurfacing and an improved skid resistance area.
The next phase could include a slip road from the Castle Howard route.
The Highways Agency said the scheme at Barton Hill was one of several due to be carried out on the A64 in Ryedale, with other work taking place at Rillington, Huttons Ambo, Ganton, Old Malton and the Whinny Lane and Claxton Hall estate crossroads.
Barton Hill has been ranked the fourth worst accident blackspot in North Yorkshire, with six accidents – three leading to serious injuries – between 2004 and 2010.