COUNCILLORS have voiced their disappointment over the slow progress on plans for Hopgrove roundabout and the dualling of the A64.

At a meeting of the county council’s area committee on Monday, councillors were updated on the scheme by project manager Ken Moody of Highways England.

Mr Moody said that the project was going to be a major piece of work with a potential cost of between £100m and £250m.

He said that a recently conducted feasibility study had shown that the Hopgrove roundabout was not to blame for the huge congestion to be found on the A64, particularly during holidays and at weekends.

“The current capacity at the Hopgrove junction is sufficient for the current observed flows and an improvement at this location alone would not solve the traffic problems and issues identified,” he said, though he warned that any improvements may create an increase in A64 users due to "suppressed demand" - local people who currently avoid the junction as they are familiar with its problems.

“Just improving the junction or dualling the carriageway would not provide the solutions. It wouldn’t relieve the problem,” he added.

Mr Moody’s report showed that the work is in stage one of a seven stage process that will take many years, with any work being undertaken after 2020 if funding is in place. A public consultation will appear in spring next year.

Cllr Greg White thanked Mr Moody for the report, but said: “I am a little disappointed by its content.

“We might be in the plan for 2020-25. It might involved full dualling, but it might not.

“It’s the possibility of jam tomorrow - but we have jams today.

“I am very keen that the only solution that will work is dualling. Anything else would just be about moving congestion from York to Ryedale, and I wouldn’t support that.”

Cllr Caroline Goodrick, chairman of the committee, also voiced her disappointment, and said that even if the A64 is dualled between Hopgrove and the Jinnah restaurant, where the next section of dual-carriageway begins, there was a danger in just moving the congestion on.

“We might create more problems at the next pinch point at Welburn and Crambeck,” she said, citing existing safety issues and the recent fatal crashes that have happened on that stretch.

She also spoke of the tourism impact on the area of such poor infrastructure. “Every weekend through summer that road is at a standstill. I feel we are restricting our economic development.”