CAMPAIGNERS have welcomed the news that pedestrian refuges on the A64 are to go ahead.

Residents in Welburn and Crambeck had asked for the safety measures after four fatalities within a month.

The campaign to improve safety for pedestrians was started after Julie Gough, and her partner, Dave Tinker, died in May 2017 while crossing the 60mph road near Crambeck, where they lived.

Charles McLaughlin and wife Judith were killed the following month while also crossing the A64 to Jamie’s Cragg holiday park where they were living.

Safety proposals include upgrading footways, new crossings with refuges, pedestrian crossing signage and improved right turn facilities on the A64 at Welburn and Crambeck.

Ryedale MP Kevin Hollinrake said: “I understand the frustrations felt by local residents about the slow pace of these much-needed improvements which came about following the fatal tragedies in the summer of 2017.

“However, it is important to get it right so any new solution doesn’t create unintended consequences which might make matters worse.

“The new measures will enable pedestrians to cross the road safely and access the bus stop. I am pleased to be able to report that progress is being made and that Highways England is on course to start work later this year or in early 2020.”

Cllr Caroline Goodrick, who represents the Hovingham and Sheriff Hutton division on North Yorkshire County Council, said: “This is obviously very good news for the villages of Welburn and Crambeck and indeed for visitors to the local area who are supporting our excellent tourism offer.

“It’s unfortunate these matters take so long to progress, but we need to recognise the care that has to be taken to alleviate the problem and to avoid any unintended consequences that might cause another problem.

“I look forward to the implementation of these improvements as soon as possible, but preferably not during the height of the busy season on an already very stressed A64.”

Carol Sollitt, of the A64 Road Safety Action Group, said: “I am very pleased that the much-needed safety measures for pedestrians crossing the A64 has at last been approved, it is very sad that four people died before the residents concerns were heard. I thank everyone who has supported us in this campaign.”