Considered – A report by Paul Mitchinson, Route Manager, Programme Development, Highways England regarding key works underway and planned on roads managed by Highways England in the county.
The list of highways improvement schemes for 2022-23 were presented to the committee. Paul Mitchinson stressed that the timing and scope of the schemes may be subject to change.
There followed a discussion with the key points as summarised below:
· Concerns about the number of fatal accidents that had occurred on the A64 in recent months and the need for safety improvements to be made as a matter of urgency
· The economic impact of slow moving traffic and queues at peak times along the A64 between York and Malton was highlighted. There is a need to ensure good connectivity and ease of access or people will be deterred from going to York and Malton.
· Improvements to junction 47 on the A1 were being led by the Council’s Highways service and not Highways England
· Concrete barriers between lanes are safer for motorcyclists than steel barriers or steel polls connected with steel wires. Steel tends to be used as it is cheaper and easier to maintain and can also help with the management of drifting snow across the highway.
· Regular meetings are held between Highways England and Transport for the North
· Overhead message boards on dual carriageways and motorways could be used for promoting carbon emission reduction from petrol and diesel vehicles, such as suggesting low emissions cruising speeds.
County Councillor David Jeffels asked what progress was being made with regard to improvements on the A64 between Hopgrove and the Jinnar Restaurant and the consideration of dualling stretches of the A64. He also asked about the Rillington by-pass and improvements at Golden Hill, Mlaton.
Paul Mitchinson said that the Highways England were aware of the concerns and that discussions were taking place at a senior level regarding long term improvements to the A64. Consideration was being given to additional safety improvements, such as the use of speed cameras, but major schemes were not yet on the drawing board.
Paul Mitchinson said that nothing was yet planned with regard to a by-pass at Rillington.
County Councillor Stanley Lumley queried the extent to which Highways England and the Highways service at the County Council worked together on the planning of road improvements.
Paul Mitchinson said that there were close links and that the current plan of works had been presented to senior officers in the Council’s Highways service in October 2021.
County Councillor Paul Haslam asked what policies were in place to ensure that when roads are built, maintained and improved that waste is minimised and the associated carbon emissions reduced and/or mitigated.
In response, Paul Mitchinson said that a carbon reduction team is in place nationally at Highways England and they are looking at ways of reducing and mitigating carbon emissions. One aspect is offsetting through planting of trees and hedges on road verges.
County Councillor Stanley Lumley summed up and thanked Paul Mitchinson for attending the meeting.
1) That Paul Mitchinso comes back to the committee in 12 months to provide a further update.