THE campaign to get the A64 dualled through Ryedale has been stepped up.

The A64 Growth Partnership and Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake want to see the A64 dualled between the Hopgrove roundabout and Barton Hill.

Business leaders, tourism bosses and public sector bodies met at Kingspan’s headquarters in Sherburn to challenge Highways England and devise a plan to ensure funding for the dualling is secured from the Department for Transport when it announces its transport investment priorities in autumn.

The meeting, chaired by Ryedale District Council leader Keane Duncan, follows Highways England’s response to a letter from Mr Hollinrake and four other Yorkshire MPs, who want to know why the assessment of the need and value for money of the improvements has gone from medium to low. In its reply Highways England says that detailed analysis of the costs had shown that they are expected to be much higher than originally expected

Mr Hollinrake said: “I am very disappointed with the current position of Highways England. Dualling that stretch of the A64 between Hopgrove and Barton Hill would transform the economic fortunes of Ryedale and the East Coast. It would make a massive difference to drivers using the road.”

Cllr Duncan said: “Ryedale’s future prosperity hinges improvements to this key piece of infrastructure, but sadly time is running out to secure the funding to make it happen.

“We have a three-month window of opportunity to make the case to the Government, or we could miss out on funding for half a decade.

“There is a cross section of support, from both the public and private sector, and real momentum behind our campaign. The partnership will be working as hard as it can over coming weeks to finally dual the A64.”