A £22 MILLION upgrade of the A64 is set to improve safety and journeys - but will also mean overnight carriageway closures while work takes place.

Highways England says it is planning 25 improvement schemes over the next 12 months on the route between the A1 (M) and Scarborough, including resurfacing, drainage and junction upgrades.

A key location for safety work is at Crambeck, between York and Malton, where four pedestrians were killed while crossing the road in two separate accidents within a month in 2017.

Improvements aimed at preventing further such tragedies include traffic islands with extra signage and bollards, upgrading footpaths and improvements to bus laybys, said a spokeswoman.

She said the investment in the A64 was part of routine maintenance work and had no bearing on whether or not plans to dual the route east of York would go ahead, adding: “Any decision on dualling the A64 is one for the DfT (Department for Transport.)”

The Press revealed in March that dualling between the Hopgrove roundabout and Barton Hill might be in jeopardy after highways experts concluded that a number of bridges would be needed, pushing up the costs. The campaign for dualling was stepped up in July by Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake and business leaders, tourism bosses and public sector bodies.

Highways England project manager Chris Dunn said improvements over the next 12 months would included major safety work at Rillington, further improvements for cyclists along the route and some junction improvements making it easier for people to access caravan sites.

He said the majority of work would be carried out from September onwards to avoid the summer months, when traffic was at its heaviest.

However, some overnight resurfacing work, including replacing road markings, reflective road studs and kerbing, needed to start from next Monday between Headley Bar near Tadcaster and the Hopgrove roundabout north-east of York.

A spokeswoman said: “The work is overnight on weekdays and will be between 8pm and 6am for the resurfacing.”

*More information about the planned improvements can be found between 3pm and 7pm on Friday August 16 at Staxton Village Hall, between 10am and 4pm on Thursday August 22 at theRNLI Lifeboat Station forecourt in Foreshore Road, Scarborough, and between 3pm and 7pm on Friday August 30 at Rillington Village Hall, and by going to www.highwaysengland.co.uk.