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Drivers left baffled by new A64 breakdown areas
WHEN is a layby not a layby? When it’s an “area of hard standing,” created alongside the A64 near York as a refuge for broken- down vehicles.
The Highways Agency has revealed that it spent more than a quarter of a million pounds on building three such areas in close proximity on the eastbound single carriageway section close to Stockton-on-the-Forest.
Some motorists have been baffled by the areas, which feature latticed concrete which allows grass to grow between the gaps.
One driver who contacted The Press said: “I thought at first they might be a cycle lane or a layby, buit there’s no signs up to say what they are there for, and there aren’t any such areas on the other side of the road. They seem a bit weird.”
But a spokeswoman for the agency said: “These are not lay-bys. They have been constructed to help us keep the traffic flowing, reduce congestion along this single carriageway stretch of the A64 and improve the safety of our roadworkers.”
She said the three areas had been constructed on the grass verge to allow broken-down vehicles and vehicles involved in incidents to be removed from the carriageway to an area of safety.
“The hard standing areas will also be used by our maintenance vehicles to park,” she said. The areas had been constructed along a 700-metre section of the A64 which was prone to congestion when vehicles broke down, particularly on the eastbound lane. “This location was identified in conjunction with North Yorkshire Police,” she said. “These will provide a refuge for broken-down vehicles, thereby allowing traffic to flow freely.
“The hard standings have been located in areas where the verge is of a suitable width and there are no underground services. The scheme has cost £270,000.”