PLANS to dual the A64 carriageway between Hopgrove roundabout and Barton Hill could be shelved, the local MP has said.

Kevin Hollinrake, MP for the Thirsk and Malton constituency who has campaigned for the road to be dualled for several years, said he is “extremely concerned” that excessive costs might lead to the project being scrapped.

Mr Hollinrake has now met with transport secretary Chris Grayling to discuss the situation, and said that Mr Grayling “totally understood” the need for dualling and promised to take the matter up with officials.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Decisions on any further strategic road investments will be made in the second Road Investment Strategy, which will be published in late 2019.”

Mr Hollinrake's concerns arose after he pressed for an update on the plans and was notified by Highways England, in a letter on March 12, that traffic flow assessments have indicated that there may be a need to build a number of bridges to cope with the extra volume of traffic coming on to the dual carriageway from neighbouring areas.

He said he was told that this would “significantly” add to the cost of the project, that it might raise questions about the overall value of the project, and that the matter is now with the Department of Transport for review.

Mr Hollinrake said: “The project, which was supposed to get under way in 2022, is already behind schedule.”

He said that he has been campaigning for years - alongside the A64 Growth Partnership, which includes businesses, local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnership, and Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill - for an extension of the dual carriageway for which, he says, “there is a clear economic case”.

He added: “I have been told repeatedly that it is on schedule and so it is extremely disappointing to learn that there may now be some serious risks to work going ahead.

“I shall continue to do what I can to make sure that the scheme is approved and work starts as soon as possible.

“This road, on average, carries twice the amount of traffic recommended for a single carriageway and is a major bottleneck and barrier to investment in my constituency and on the East Coast.

“We must deliver this improvement.”

The #A64JustDualIt campaign was launched in 2018 by the A64 Growth Partnership, which includes employers, local councils, MPs, business organisations and the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership.

It seeks full dualling of the road from York to Malton, with safety and overtaking improvements between Malton and Scarborough.

Other groups are also calling for greater infrastructure spending in places like Yorkshire. In February, a plan by the group Transport for the North included a request for between £100 billion and £120 billion to be committed to infrastructure in the North over the next 30 years - to be spent on new more frequent rail services, new rolling stock, and the dualling of the A64 in Ryedale, among other schemes.