CYCLING and walking between Malton and Huttons Ambo is about to get easier and safer following the construction of a new path.

The scheme involves constructing a new shared cycle and footpath between the town and the village, adjacent to - but segregated from - the A64 westbound lane, from the sliproad at Musley Bank to the Huttons Ambo turn-off.

Currently, a cyclist or walker coming from the south or west can cross the River Derwent at the Menethorpe suspension bridge at Low Hutton. This allows them to avoid the busy A64 at Whitwell-on-the-Hill. However, to proceed to Malton, they have had to use a short stretch of the A64 to access York Road.

This new project - a short two-way path - will mean that cyclists and walkers will be able to get into Malton without having to venture onto the A-road, and return the same way.

North Yorkshire cyclist Paul Hepworth, who represents the national organisation Cycling UK on the Ryedale Cycle Forum, said: “This scheme has been in the pipeline for a few years, and we welcome Highways England’s confirmation that it is finally going ahead.”

Work started this week and includes new and upgraded crossing facilities and alterations to the drainage.

Some lane and sliproad closures will take place over nights. Clearly signed diversions will be in place during the full closures. The scheme is due to be completed by the end of March.

The project has been developed as part of Highways England’s cycling designated fund. This fund is being spent between 2015 and 2021 to “provide more attractive, safe, accessible and integrated cycling facilities, to encourage more people to cycle”.

Highways England has also funded a cycle project on the A64 at Tadcaster.

Project manager Chris Dunn said: “We’re committed to significantly improving safety across our road network, and the new and improved cycle and footpaths will make it much easier and safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

“We are also looking at what further improvements can be made over the next 12 months along this important route.”

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