RENEWED calls are being made to upgrade the ‘most accident-prone route in the country’ after 87 per cent of survey respondents said they were unhappy using it.

Ryedale MP Kevin Hollinrake has held two meetings this week with fellow MPs, Highways England, council representatives and the North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, regarding improvements to the A64 .

He said he had requested a meeting with Transport Minister, Baroness Vere, to reiterate the need for certainty of action and to ensure this remains at the top of the Government’s transport agenda.

It comes after Highways England admitted any major works for the road are “not yet on the drawing board”.

A North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) meeting last week heard almost two years after the Government announced a £300 million upgrade of the A64 would be among schemes to be considered for funding after 2025, potential improvements remain clouded by uncertainty.

The calls for clarity comes two months after Highways England started gathering residents’ feedback over options to create a dual carriageway on the A64 between Hopgrove Junction and Barton-le-Willows.

Last year it was announced a final proposal would be submitted to the Department of Transport for consideration alongside 32 schemes across the country, with a final decision expected in 2024.

However, a meeting of the authority’s transport, economy and environment scrutiny committee heard fears time was running out to meet the deadline.

A Highways England update on road improvements, told the meeting that it was understood there were no major schemes yet on the drawing board.

Highways England area manager Paul Mitchinson said there were A64 safety schemes at feasibility stage concerning average speed cameras and seven road-side refuges for pedestrians, which could be installed by 2024.

Mr Mitchinson said: “We do have safety schemes on the board at the moment to improve safety of the existing road, but no I must concede as things stand my understanding is that the major schemes are not yet on the drawing board. As things stand there is nothing on the cards for Rillington bypass at this time.”

County Cllr David Jeffels said talks had been ongoing about improving the A64 throughout his 40 years as a councillor, but the time had now come for the government to give a definite date for the works. He said the government needed to commit to “proper engineering work rather than tinkering” to address the route’s poor accident record.

Councillor Jeffels said: “Even if an early go-ahead was given for the dual carriageway you’ve still got land acquisition, probably compulsory purchase of land and it being designed, so you are talking about two years at least to get the scheme approved on paper.

“I think we are being fobbed off. There is a growing feeling that if this road had been in the south of England these improvements would have been done quite a long time ago. Successive governments have recognised there is a need for it but it hasn’t been followed up with finance to carry out the work.”

“We keep being told it’s on the drawing board, but there’s just no sign of any improvement. The A64, I think it’s fair to say, must now have the worst accident record of any major road in the north of England.”

“In the past year the A64 has had a very substantial and distressing figure of fatal accidents and it is hitting the economy in Ryedale and on the Yorkshire coast because people are facing daily long queues between Malton and York.”

Mr Hollinrake said he will continue to push for the A64 to be prioritised for road improvement work.

“Constituents will be aware I have been advocating for this since being elected in 2015. This is the most accident-prone route in the country.

“Following the National Highways A64 Hopgrove survey held at the end of 2021, the vast majority of responses expressed unhappiness about the road with 87% stating they were very unhappy or unhappy. The primary concerns of respondents were congestion, safety and experience using the road. Many respondents expressed the view that the only solution was to make the A64 a duel carriageway.

“I have requested a meeting with Transport Minister, Baroness Vere, to reiterate the need for certainty of action and look forward to working with local stakeholders, council leaders and my fellow North Yorkshire on MPs to ensure this remains at the top of the Government’s transport agenda.”