DISAGREEMENTS have surfaced at Ryedale District Council about whether or not to push for the dualling of the A64.

Although it is not in the power of the district authority to dual the road - that lies with Highways England - the council can still use its influence to lobby for the dualling to take place.

At a meeting of the full council last Thursday, Cllr Caroline Goodrick moved that the council “renews its commitment” to the dualling of the A64 between York and Scarborough.

“Poor road connectivity is holding Ryedale back, suppressing wages and stunting economic growth,” she said. “Our only strategic road, the A64, is ‘significantly stressed’ according to Highways England.

“Time is of the essence. The Department for Transport will decide this autumn on its investment priorities, meaning we have just three months to persuade the Government.

“We urgently request that the leader of council, the deputy leader of council and our officers work with local authorities, business leaders and MPs to pull together the strongest case.

“Failure to do so could mean the dualling fails to progress for at least five years.

“Part of the reason I became a councillor was to promote and achieve the dualling of the A64. The problem isn’t going to go away.”

But the motion received a less than enthusiastic response from some councillors. Cllr Mike Potter, of the Liberal party, moved that a climate change impact assessment be made before the council renews its commitment to the dualling.

He said: “We do have a policy on climate change for which there was cross-party support.

“It’s been proven that if you build wider roads, they just fill up.

“By building ever wider and faster roads are we not just encouraging people to drive more, and further, commuting to work instead of living locally? Surely we’ve got to the point where we need dramatic changes. Climate change is a reality. It’s happening now.”

But the council voted down the amendment and approved Cllr Goodrick’s call to renew its commitment to dualling the road. Cllr Keane Duncan, leader of council, said: “The Conservative Party will not be shamed on this - we are proud to be supporting the dualling of the A64. The Liberal Party want this district to stand still - we want it to move forward.”

Members also tweaked the motion to include other changes on the road, including connections on and off the A64 at Broughton Road and Musley Bank, in Malton.