EMERGENCY services have thrown their weight behind the Evening Press campaign to tame North Yorkshire's worst accident blackspot.

Police and fire chiefs say they fully support measures to end the toll of accidents at Bilbrough Top, on the A64 dual carriageway between York and Tadcaster.

Ambulance chiefs, while declining to comment on the campaign, have revealed that they attended 11 road accidents there in only two years, between April 2001 and March this year.

The letters from the three emergency services will be handed to Roads Minister David Jamieson next Tuesday by Colin and Chris Sanders, the Northallerton parents of a 16-year-old who died at Bilbrough Top in 2001. They want to prevent further such tragedies in future.

The Evening Press is calling on the Minister to approve the construction of a new flyover at the junction, finally allowing a gap in the central reservation to be closed. Work, due to start on the flyover in June, was halted when the Highways Agency realised that the bill would come to millions more than was expected.

Chief Superintendent John Lacy said North Yorkshire Police had supported the delayed flyover proposals at an early stage. Police had always supported closure of the gaps, provided the agency deemed this could be done safely.

"There is still an ongoing concern over the safety of the junction at this location, and police would wish to see an early start to the work commencing as planned in the interests of road safety," he said.

Nigel Hutchinson, deputy chief officer of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said it strongly supported the campaign, as it had done back in 1999.

"It is disappointing, to say the least, that despite increasing recognition since that urgent action is required, no practical measure is yet in place."

He said that while the flyover was supported as part of the solution to the problem, the service believed the gap should be closed now on the grounds of public safety, "rather than wait for the outcome of further deliberations on the provision of the flyover on the grounds of cost".

He said the case for road safety improvement outweighed the temporary inconvenience of motorists travelling further to cross the dual carriageway.

Updated: 09:44 Saturday, October 11, 2003