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£5.5m A64 junction scheme opens
A NEW £5.5 million junction on North Yorkshire’s busiest road has finally been completed after a string of delays.
Heavy rain held up work on the Brambling Fields project, on the A64 near Malton and Norton, over the summer, but it has now been fully reopened to traffic with transport bosses saying it will prevent the towns becoming choked by congestion and pollution.
The scheme - funded by Ryedale District Council and North Yorkshire County Council and backed by the Highways Agency - was originally due for completion in June, but “unprecedented rainfall” hit timescales. However, only landscaping work and “minor” access roads now remain to be finished.
It marks the end of an eight-year campaign for improvements at the junction and will mean eastbound traffic heading for Norton can use the A64 to bypass Malton. The work is predicted to reduce the amount of traffic passing through the Butcher Corner junction in the centre of the town by up to 30 per cent.
“This project has long been recognised locally as essential for the future of Malton and Norton, and, together with the county council and local people, we have fought for many years for this major upgrade during a time of very limited funding,” said district council leader Keith Knaggs.
“It means we can improve the air quality in Malton town centre, make it a better and safer place for business and shopping, and bring forward new jobs and homes.”
The county council will monitor traffic levels at the junction and on local roads for at least six months before deciding whether measures are needed to ensure maximum use of Brambling Fields. Coun Gareth Dadd, its executive member for highways and planning services, said: “This scheme represents a major investment by the council in improving conditions in the centre of Malton and Norton by removing traffic, including heavy vehicles.”
Highways Agency project manager John Howard said the scheme would provide “major environmental and economic benefits for local communities”.