Consultations for a proposed re-routing of the A59 in North Yorkshire have been launched to remove the risk of landslides between Skipton and Harrogate.
North Yorkshire County Council undertook a major slope stabilisation project on the route at Kex Gill in early 2016 but believes the risk of further failures supports relocation of the road.
In a statement, the council said: “In the past, the council has undertaken work to strengthen the banks and improve drainage and the authority monitors movement on the slope, but there remains a high risk of further landslips that could lead to long-term closures. In the event of a landslip, drivers are routed round a diversion of more than 10km through towns unsuitable for the volume of traffic and nature of vehicles.”
The council has said that realignment of the route also forms part of its strategic plans to improve east west connections through the county.
A total of 16 routes for the realignment were investigated during a feasibility study but only four are being taken through the consultation process. Cost of construction has been estimated as £33M to £40M and the council is in the process of bidding for funds from the Department for Transport to support the work.
North Yorkshire County Council executive member for highways Don Mackenzie said: “The A59 provides a vital link between the east and west of the region through North Yorkshire. Its reliability is crucial for the economic growth of our county as well as the convenience and safety of commuters, visitors and residents.
“The consultation will help us to determine the route that most improves the resilience of the A59, along with improved safety and increased reliability of journey times for road users while maintaining the landscape, ecological and historical value of the surrounding area.
“The consultation will be wide-ranging with public events to allow people to view the proposals as well as opportunities to give their responses online and on paper. Details will be announced shortly and we would urge everyone with an interest in the route to take part.”