Information about the county council's plans to reroute the A59 at Kex Gill.

Consultation on A59 re-alignment proposals

We have now opened a consultation on our proposals for the re-alignment of the A59 at Kex Gill.

The A59, illustrated in context below, provides a very important east-west connection in North Yorkshire, linking Harrogate and Skipton. It provides a route across the north of England, between junction 31 of the M6 and junction 47 of the A1(M). 

 The A59 route in context (jpg / 167 KB).

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Background information, maps and diagrams

Below you can find a range of background information, maps and diagrams which form the basis of our proposals.

Due to a history of landslips and instability (illustrated below) which have in the past led to unplanned road closures, the county council has been working to develop proposals to ensure the future resilience of the route.

 The location of recent landslips on the A59 (jpg / 262 KB).

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Recent landslips

The most recent landslip was in early 2016 and resulted in an eight week road closure. In the event of a landslip, road users are routed round a six mile diversion through towns and areas deemed unsuitable for the volume and nature of vehicles. The available information suggests the primary cause of these landslips is heavy rainfall, coupled with relatively unstable land on the hillside slopes. 

Fortunately to date, although a vehicle has been caught in a landslip, there have been no personal injuries as a result of a landslip at Kex Gill. However, without intervention there continues to be a significant risk that road users could be caught in any future landslip, potentially resulting in serious injuries or fatalities.

Following a review of various engineering studies and advice from technical experts, it has been determined that full stabilisation of the area at risk would require extensive and very substantial engineering works and is unlikely to be practicable or environmentally acceptable. Therefore, the existing A59 or any improvements to the existing highway would remain susceptible to landslip and related disruption. As a result, a new section of the A59 must be created to replace the existing road.

So that we could progress the development of a solution at Kex Gill, the government requires us to create an Options Assessment Report (OAR). This was produced, below, and set out 16 options to be considered and scored.

The 16 options broadly sit within eight main corridors (see illustrations below). Corridors are strips of land within which an alternative road may sit. Within each corridor there are options for the exact route the road may take, but each corridor will have similar characteristics.

 The sixteen potential route options (jpg / 249 KB).

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 The routes grouped into eight corridors (jpg / 247 KB).

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Appraisal of the corridors

An appraisal of all the corridors was carried out using an agreed Department for Transport (DfT) approach, in order to assess their merits or otherwise against set criteria (see illustration below). This included consideration of each corridor’s environmental impact, feasibility, buildability (a pre-construction exercise that looks at a design from the perspective of those that will manufacture, install components or any structures and carry out the construction works) and performance against local and national objectives.

 Appraisal of corridors against objectives (jpg / 131 KB).

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The results of the assessment demonstrated the blue, magenta and orange corridors to be the best performing, due to their fit with national and local transport objectives and their significant positive impact in terms of economic growth, wellbeing, and social and distribution impacts (SDIs). They also offered improved resilience, connectivity, reliability and safety and consequently met the specific scheme objectives, particularly in terms of removing the risk of landslip-related closures of the A59. These three corridors also performed best in terms of affordability and demonstrated some of the shortest implementation timescales and the least environmental impact.

The main difference between the blue, magenta and orange corridors is whether they diverge from the A59 at Kex Gill Farm or further east along the existing A59. In order to enable a better understanding of this, further ground condition and topographical surveys will be undertaken in the vicinity of these three corridors. This information will be critical in being able to narrow down the exact alignment of a preferred option.

However, because these three corridors are broadly similar, they have been collated together to form the ‘consultation corridor’ (see illustration below). The consultation corridor can be described as  "Starting at Kex Gill Farm utilising the bridleway to take the corridor along the north edge of the Valley beyond where the land slips have taken place to the existing A59 before Blubberhouses".

 The consultation corridor (jpg / 159 KB).

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Give us your views online

It is important for us to understand the level of support for these proposals. 

You can give us your views online below.

Give us your views

The closing date for comments is 31 October 2017.

Drop-in events

We will also be holding drop-in events with staff on hand to discuss the proposals. This will include county council project officers and representatives from our consultant WSP’s specialist consultancy team, who have been helping us to develop the proposals.

There will also be a display of plans, and the opportunity to make written and verbal comments on the proposals.

Venue Date Time
Skipton Town Hall - Concert Hall Thursday 21 September 10am to 2pm
3pm to 8pm
St.Peter's Church Hall, Harrogate Friday 22 September 10am to 2pm
3pm to 8pm
Norwood Social Hall, Washburn Saturday 23 September 9.30am to 3pm

Gallery of works carried out in 2016

During early 2016, complex and extensive drainage and remedial works were carried out. The images below show some of this work that was carried out.