As work progresses on a multi-million-pound project to upgrade Junction 47 on the A1(M) to support growth in the Harrogate and Knaresborough areas, drivers are being advised of forthcoming road closures essential to the construction.
The junction upgrade, which began in September, will address congestion as well as improve road safety and support development in the towns.
Work is progressing as planned and is on schedule for completion in the autumn. All work is being carried out in compliance with Covid-19 restrictions.
Improvements involve widening three of the roundabout’s four slip roads to increase capacity, along with the installation of traffic signals on the roundabout to improve traffic flow. Nearby junctions will be improved. Traffic signals will be added to the T-junction between the A168 and the A59 and the slip road widened to reduce the risk of queuing vehicles turning on to the A59 and to improve safety. West of Junction 47, between the A1 and the Flaxby roundabout, a lane will be added for traffic travelling east, giving two lanes in each direction between those two roundabouts.
Later this month, a series of overnight closures of the slip roads from the A1(M) will be necessary to enable the installation of ducting for the signals and communications. These will begin on Monday, 25 January, and be in place Monday to Friday for four weeks between 8pm and 6am. The closures will not affect all slip roads at the same time. Roadside signs will advise of closure dates or see them on the project webpage.
Following completion of this work, the upgrading of the A59/A168 slip road will necessitate a full closure of the slip road. This could be in place for up to 16 weeks, but every effort will be made to minimise the duration of the work.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access and Member for Harrogate Saltergate, said: “At busy times, congestion is an issue at this junction, particularly for traffic coming off the southbound carriageway of the A1. These upgrades will address this, improve road safety and support residential and commercial development in the towns.
“We are looking ahead to support sustainable growth by considering future housing developments, particularly along the A59 corridor between Knaresborough and York. This project is important not only for Harrogate and Knaresborough, but for wider connections across our county.
“We understand that the closures will cause inconvenience and necessitate significant diversions for some drivers. Our contractor will do everything they can to ensure closures are as short as possible. We apologise for the disruption and thank drivers in advance for their patience during what will be short-term inconvenience for long-term improvement to traffic flow.”
The £7.7m project is supported by £2.47m from the government’s Local Growth Fund, secured by the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, along with contributions from the County Council, Highways England and developer Forward Investment LLP.