The realignment of the A59 Harrogate to Skipton road at Kex Gill has overcome another hurdle after the Secretary of State declined to “call in” the plans.
On Saturday (January 30) Transport Secretary Grant Shapps pledged up to £56m to build the major trans-Pennine route. North Yorkshire County Council will meet the remainder of the cost of the £60m project.
A third party request was made to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to call in the application – meaning the Government would have the final say.
However, by declining to call in the decision, the County Council can continue with plans to begin the work in summer 2021.
Earlier this year its planning committee resolved unanimously to support the planning application for the realigned route to the other side of the valley.
The stretch of road between Harrogate and Skipton is an important east-west link not only within North Yorkshire, but also into West Yorkshire, Lancashire and Humber ports.
Cllr Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: "The decision by the Secretary of State is very good news indeed, leaving the way open to the commencement of this important scheme. The A59 at Kex Gill has been subject to closures in the recent past because of land slips, which have disrupted travel, caused long diversions through West Yorkshire, and have been costly. The realignment of this trans-Pennine route provides much better connectivity for all road users and is a major boost to the economy of North Yorkshire.”
Cllr Stanley Lumley, Member for Pateley Bridge division, added: “The announcements this week signify two milestones in the delivery of the long-anticipated scheme. Locals, commuters and visitors will all benefit from enhanced safety and reliability of the important trans-Pennine route. We are looking forward to seeing work begin soon.”