A GOVERNMENT Minister has admitted there is a "very strong case" for taming North Yorkshire's worst accident blackspot.

Roads Minister David Jamieson kindled hopes that a flyover will finally be built at notorious Bilbrough Top after hearing pleas by Colin and Chris Sanders for action.

The heartbroken couple told him how their 16-year-old son, Jamie, was one of three people to die at the dangerous junction on the A64 between York and Tadcaster. He was hit by a car while trying to run across the dual carriageway to catch a bus to York.

Accompanied during their meeting in London by Selby MP John Grogan, they said they did not want other parents to go through the agony they had suffered since Jamie's death.

They gave the Minister a letter from his devastated sister, Carly, which said: "I miss him so much it makes me physically sick... please can you do something to stop this torment and pain from happening to someone else's family. You cannot put a price on someone's life."

They also handed over a dossier of letters from Evening Press readers and the emergency services in support of the Close The Gaps campaign.

Work on constructing the flyover was due to start in June, allowing the closure of a dangerous gap in the central reservation - but the scheme was halted at the last minute because the bill was millions of pounds higher than expected.

The Minister, who will decide this autumn whether to approve the scheme, said after meeting the couple and Mr Grogan: "They have made a very strong case, and I will take this - and the dossier - into consideration when making a decision."

Mr Grogan said the Minister had indicated that a decision would be made within weeks. The flyover project would compete with other schemes nationally, but the MP was optimistic that it would get the go-ahead.

"The Minister said road safety was a key criteria in making a decision," he said.

Mr Jamieson had also said that compulsory purchase orders and traffic orders only had a "shelf life" of three years, after which the whole process, including a public inquiry, would have to start again.

Mrs Sanders, who was whisked with her husband down to the London meeting courtesy of GNER, said: "We are hoping for good news. He listened to us and heard what we had to say. I said I wanted him to know that it just isn't statistics. Jamie was my son."

Updated: 10:52 Wednesday, October 15, 2003