LOCAL authorities, MPs and business leaders have joined forces to press for the A64 between York and Malton to be dualled.

A new 'A64 Growth Partnership' was launched today at the Fera Science complex at Sand Hutton with the aim of removing 'one of the most notorious pinch-points in Yorkshire’s main road network.'

Barry Dodd, of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership, said the A64 was the route for people from the whole of Yorkshire to the coast and North Yorkshire countryside.

He said that if people got stuck in a lengthy jam while trying to get to Scarborough for a day out, they would not return and the tourist industry would suffer.

“We must make it a pleasure for everyone to use, not what it is today," he said.

"Improving the connectivity of the transport network east-west across our area is vital for our growth, and nationally, we must work with everyone to make our united voices heard and make this investment happen.”

Graham Bramham, of Kingspan Limited, a global building envelope systems and solutions company with a major manufacturing facility at Sherburn, near Malton, said: “The A64 bottleneck and the York junction impacts on our business seriously, due to an additional one hour delay on our transport times from here, compared to standard transport times.”

Scarborough Borough Council leader Derek Bastiman said the benefits of an upgrade to dual carriageway between Hopgrove roundabout and Barton Le Willows should not be underestimated.

"It would transform the economic fortunes of the A64 corridor and surrounding areas, as well as provide much needed relief for the millions of business, leisure and commuter journeys made on the road annually."

Cllr Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire County Council's executive member for highways, said: “While the A64 is the responsibility of Highways England, North Yorkshire County Council is fully behind this campaign to press for improvements that support the authority’s ambitions for better east-west transport connections across the region.

"Upgrading the A64 will bring benefits for businesses and tourism as well as locals."

The partnership welcomed a recent feasibility report by Highways England recommending dualling between York’s Hopgrove roundabout and Barton le Willows, but said this must form part of a long-term investment including further dualling and improvement schemes.