A LETTER pleading for the A64 to be upgraded has been sent to the Prime Minister.

A meeting at North Yorkshire County Council heard that the local authority and the A64 Growth Partnership have written to Boris Johnson to make the case for the road to be dualled - after Highways England downgraded the project to being low in terms of value for money.

Councillors also said they were astonished to learn Highways England had rated tourist traffic as less important than commuter traffic - despite it being key to the area’s economy.

Former Scarborough Borough Council leader Councillor Derek Bastiman described the decision as “pure bunkum”. He said: “Tourism traffic to Scarborough Borough Council is worth in excess of £650 million. It’s worth a similar amount to East Riding and a bit less to Ryedale. That’s £1.6 billion and if that was manufacturing or engineering the government would be all over it like a rash.”

He said he accepted the A64 would never be dualled all the way from York to Scarborough, but it was high time the agency accepted where studies had proved “quick wins” were available.

Hovingham councillor Caroline Goodrick said the recently announced upgrade of the York outer ring road would create further pressure on “an already over-pressured situation at Hopgrove roundabout” on the A64.

She said: “It is madness to drive more traffic into an area that can’t cope with the traffic it has already got. I’m really cross about this.

“It’s not just local and tourist traffic, its freight and commercial pressure as well. They are going through the small villages churning up the side of the roads, which Highways England is not responsible for but North Yorkshire County Council is.”

Council leader Carl Les has called for the A64 to be made a “special case”.

Highways England manager Chris Dunn said he appreciated the frustration surrounding the A64.

He said a further study was underway - and that it would take York’s Outer Ring road into account - with results due at the end of November.