Completion of the final phase of a scheme to upgrade roads around Catterick Garrison has been significantly delayed due to Vodafone works and additional drainage works.
Over the last few months, North Yorkshire County Council has persistently requested Vodafone to commit to a date to relocate cabling from the works site so that the council and its contractors could finish long-awaited junction improvements.
The joint scheme by North Yorkshire County Council and Richmondshire District Council, which attracted funding from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership via the Local Growth Fund, will improve junctions along the A6136 corridor to enable housing development and economic growth.
When complete, the improvements across three junctions will help to create 1,900 new homes and hundreds of jobs based on a modern Catterick Garrison town centre, as well as improving key transport links and fast access to the upgraded A1 motorway and the region's major cities.
The final junction upgrade at White Shops - the junction of Catterick Road, Byng Road and Horne Road - began last autumn but has been beset by delays. It was due to be finished in early July but delays in alterations to major cabling belonging to Vodafone have now meant that this date is unachievable. The county council has sought a date for the cabling relocation so the junction could be finished, however Vodafone failed to give a definite date for moving the cabling until 9 May.
The company has now said the cabling will be relocated in the middle of July. But because other major works cannot take place until Vodafone has completed the task, the junction completion has had to be put back to November. Discussions are continuing with the company to try to improve upon this date.
"We are extremely sorry for this delay because we are well aware of the disruptive impact of these works,'' said David Bowe, North Yorkshire's Corporate Director for Business and Environmental Services. "Our intention was always to complete the works as quickly as possible and we have chased Vodafone over past months, both via email and telephone and have escalated this communication to senior officers
"We have brought forward other works within this scheme to minimise the overall delay, but until Vodafone gets on with the task of relocating the cabling we cannot carry out any more significant tasks.
"Extensive repairs to the drainage system also need to be undertaken and we only discovered the true extent of the deterioration in the drainage system once we had started the White Shops roadworks and this will add a further four weeks to the programme. However, we cannot get on with this work until Vodafone has completed its tasks. If Vodafone cannot start its work until mid-July, we cannot finish the scheme until November, which is very regrettable.
"For this reason we are now pressing the company to provide an earlier date and we are really now in the hands of Vodafone for when this final phase of the works can be finished.''
Richmondshire District Council Corporate Director Callum McKeon said: "We are very disappointed with the latest delays to this project, which will cause disruption to many of our residents and businesses for another four months when they should be seeing the benefits of the improvement scheme."