PLANS to create a new section of dual carriageway to help relieve congestion on the A64 have been welcomed.

Highways England has concluded that further improvements to the Hopgrove junction alone would fail to deal with notorious congestion problems, and the pinch-point created by the single

carriageway to the east needs to be tackled.

Its transport specialists are now working on up four different options to provide a dual carriageway - three of them along the full 9.5kms of existing single carriageway between the Hopgrove roundabout and the next dualled section at Barton-le-Willows.

Two of the options follow the route of the current A64 for 1.8km from Hopgrove and then take a new alignment before re-joining the current A64 near the Jinnah Restaurant.

One runs to the north-west of the current route and the other runs to the north-west and then crosses to the south-east side. However, details of the proposed routes will not be revealed until next year.

A third option follows the current route as far as possible to reduce costs and environmental impact.

The final option would only provide dual carriageway as far as a new roundabout at Towthorpe Moor Lane.

Details of the proposals have been presented by Highways England to the A64 Growth Partnership, an alliance of local businesses, MPs, local authorities, trade organisations and the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership.

Barry Dodd, chairman of the enterprise partnership, said it welcomed the news, but it was vital to dual all the way from from Hopgrove to Barton-le-Willows, instead of stopping short and moving the congestion a little further up the road.

He said: “Improving the connectivity of the transport network east-west across our area is vital for our growth, and nationally, we must work with everyone to make our united voices heard and make this investment happen.”

Ryedale MP Kevin Hollinrake added: “I welcome the direction Highways England has adopted towards the A64 upgrade which shows that they now recognise that improvements to the Hopgrove Roundabout on its own are not enough."

Graham Bramham of Kingspan Limited, which has a manufacturing facility at Sherburn, near Malton, said “The A64 bottleneck and the Hopgrove junction seriously impact on our business, with an additional delay of up to an hour on our transport times during the frequent congestion.”