North Yorkshire County Council is pushing ahead with plans to carry out major structural repairs to the Selby bypass in the spring.
The highways authority intends to start the work on the bypass as soon as possible in April and this very necessary, major repair can be carried out.
The county council has been carrying out an enhanced inspection and reactive repair regime to ensure that the by-pass remains safe for travel for motorists and other road users during these winter months and is concerned to get ahead with the project once the weather improves.
“We are committed to undertaking this work,” said County Councillor Gareth Dadd, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Highways, “because this major route has an important part to play in promoting the long-term economic prosperity of Selby, easing congestion and supporting the flow of transport around the district. We too share the concerns and frustration of the public about the very poor state of the bypass, especially along particular stretches”
However now that Selby has been chosen to host a start for the Tour de Yorkshire, the county council will also make sure that the bypass works do not jeopardise the success of such a prestigious event for the town. The authority will be working closely with Welcome to Yorkshire to ensure that all necessary routes are open to traffic and the increased numbers of visitors expected to come to Selby for the occasion.
Selby and Ainsty MP, Nigel Adams (pictured at the bypass) who instigated an online campaign to have the bypass repaired which gained the support of over 1000 local residents, said: “I am delighted that the county council is to start the repairs shortly. The road has been in a very bad state for too long and I know that residents and road users will be relieved when the surface is finally put right”.
Cllr Dadd added: “It is a great privilege and good for Selby to be a start location for the Tour de Yorkshire, so we will coordinate the works for this necessary repair so the town is more than ready to make a great success of this exciting event.” .”
The timing of the Selby bypass works programme also has to take account of other developments and highways projects in the district, such as the major improvements to be carried out on Newland Bridge, which takes the A645 over the River Aire and is one of the main access roads to Drax Power Station. Work on the bridge is expected to start in spring 2015 to be completed during the winter of 2015/16.
The reasons for the surface failure of the bypass stem from the lower layers of the road’s construction, so any permanent repairs will be very costly. The county council is making progress in discussions with the Highways Agency, which was responsible for the bypass construction, about responsibility for funding the repairs. Implementing the works without the prior agreement of the Highways Agency would seriously undermine the aim of carrying out the works without cost to the county council
“Though the negotiations with the Highways Agency continue” said Cllr Dadd, “there is no doubt that these structural repairs will be undertaken. We will push ahead as soon as the weather allows and all preparations are in place.”