Highways England have admitted that the overnight closures of the A64 at the Bishopthorpe Bridge are set to continue into July, meaning further disruption for residents of Tadcaster Road as traffic is diverted off the A64 and through the city centre. Highways England had previously said that the works should be completed by the end of May.
Complaints by residents about HGVs travelling at speed along Tadcaster Road through the night prompted Cllr Stephen Fenton to request information from Highways England on when the works would finish. Stephen was told that the slippage was due to “a number of reasons including the need for additional drilling works to fix the new barriers on the bridge.”
Stephen commented “It is disappointing that the works are over-running, and that information about the slippage of the expected completion date wasn’t proactively communicated to residents or local councillors by Highways England.”
Through traffic on the A64 is meant to be diverted onto the A1237 northern ring road, but the signs on the A64 are very near to the turn off for the A1237. Stephen has asked for some signs to be installed back towards Tadcaster, to give HGVs and other through traffic more notice and reduce the likelihood of them all ending up on Tadcaster Road.
The photograph below was taken at 8.30pm on Friday 3rd June, showing traffic backed up on Tadcaster Road almost all the way back to the Askham Bar roundabout.
Roadworks on the A64 being undertaken by the Highways Agency, which will lead to night time diversion of traffic for periods of time from January until May, get underway on Monday 4th January. A press release has been issued to announce the start of the work – see http://tinyurl.com/A64-works
The roadworks will start with replacement of the safety barriers on the bridge that runs over the River Ouse at Bishopthorpe. The A64 will be closed in both directions for five nights to install narrow lanes and protective barriers as part of the scheme. The A64 will then be closed again towards the end of February for three nights to remove the protective barriers.
From the end of March, work will start on replacing the main expansion joint on the eastbound carriageway. This work will be carried out overnight and will require full overnight closure of the eastbound carriageway between 8pm and 6am Monday to Friday. The project is due to be completed in May.
When the night time road closures are in effect, local eastbound traffic will be diverted off the A64 up Tadcaster Road and then onto The Mount, Blossom Street and Nunnery Lane before going over the river and onto Fishergate and then onto the A19 through Fulford before rejoining the A64.
We understand that there will be diversion signs on the A64 at the A1237 junction (northern by pass) indicating that the A64 is closed ahead and the A1237 should be used for through trips, for example traffic heading to Malton and the east coast. This should hopefully remove a proportion of traffic that would otherwise end up being diverted up Tadcaster Road.
We would have liked to have been able to let local residents know about the Tadcaster Road diversion plans via our December FOCUS newsletter, but unfortunately we were not given advance notice of the plans.
So, in summary, our understanding is that the night time diversion of traffic from the A64 will be in effect as follows:
- Monday 4th to Friday 8th January inclusive
- At the end of February for three nights
- From the end of March until sometime in May
Today’s government announcements on major improvements to the road network will attract mixed reactions in York.
Included is a pledge to “grade separate” the Hopgrove A1237/A64 junction. This means that fly-overs will replace the roundabout (which was itself subject to an £9 million upgrade only 5 years ago).
However, those hoping for the A1237 to be dualled will be disappointed and traffic, at busy times, having avoided the Hopgrove bottleneck, will immediately face continuing congestion on the remainder of the A64 trip to the coast.
Hopes for the A1237 seem to rest on the devolved funding made available to the, increasingly aloof, Leeds based “West Yorkshire Combined Authority”.
Reports last week suggested that funding for larger roundabouts is the extent of their ambitions.