Work is scheduled to begin this month on a multi-million-pound project that will support the future growth of the Harrogate and Knaresborough areas.
Advance preparatory work on the enhancements by North Yorkshire County Council to Junction 47 on the A1(M) near Knaresborough begins on site today (1 September), with the main construction scheduled to start on 16 September.
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. The upgrades we will put in place will address this congestion, improve road safety and support development in the towns.
“We are looking ahead and helping to support sustainable growth by considering future housing developments, particularly along the A59 corridor between Knaresborough and York.”
Improvements will involve widening three of the four slip roads onto and off the roundabout to increase capacity. The other major upgrade will be the installation of traffic signals on the roundabout to improve the flow of traffic, addressing the issue of vehicles queuing up the slip road from the A1.
In addition, nearby junctions will be improved. Traffic signals will be added to the T-junction between the A168 and the A59 a short distance from Junction 47 on the York side. This will benefit drivers turning on to the A59 and will improve safety.
To the west of Junction 47, between the A1 and the Flaxby roundabout, a lane will be added for traffic travelling east, so there will be two lanes in each direction between those two roundabouts.
Cllr Mackenzie added: “This is a major project and an important one, not only for the Harrogate and Knaresborough areas, but for wider connections across our county. We will work with the contractor to minimise disruption and the need for traffic management. Inevitably there will be inconvenience for drivers at certain times during the project, but we will give as much notice as possible and ask people to be patient.”
The contractor will carry out the work in full compliance with Covid-19 social distancing requirements on site.
The £7.7m project will be 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. Work is scheduled to be completed in autumn 2021.
David Dickson, Chair of the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership Infrastructure and Joint Assets Board, said: “The LEP secured £2.47m from the government’s Local Growth Fund to contribute to this work. We supported this project because it is vital that our region has well connected and resilient places. Improvements to this key junction will help that and, in turn, enable good economic growth. We’re really pleased to see the scheme progress.”
Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government Simon Clarke MP said: “This Government is determined to level up every region of the country by investing in improving local infrastructure, boosting economic growth and delivering jobs and homes for communities.
“I am delighted to see work is getting under way on this important project, which will support the future growth of Harrogate and Knaresborough, reducing congestion and delivering opportunities for future growth in the area.”
The contractor is Farrans Construction and the scheme has been designed and will be supervised by Aecom.
The public will be able to follow the progress of the work online.