THE people behind a planned new 4,000 home housing development say journeys between York and Selby on the A19 could be almost halved if it goes ahead.

They say the new settlement called Heronby would prompt significant road improvements, including a by-pass around the village of Escrick and a study shows that Heronby would be the catalyst for major road improvements which would see typical maximum journey times between Riccall and the York Designer Outlet Park and Ride cut from the current 24 minutes at peak times, to just 14 minutes.

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Transport modelling carried out by specialists on behalf of the landowner Escrick Park Estate, found that without the proposed improvements, and without Heronby, the Riccall to Designer Outlet journey time is likely to increase to 43 minutes by the year 2045, with the forecast growth in traffic which is similar to the historical rates of growth in traffic since the year 2000, says the report.

York Press: An artist's impression of HeronbyAn artist's impression of Heronby

The long-term plan for Heronby is for up to 4,000 homes by the year 2060, with shops, schools, workspaces, parks and public open space. In September this year, Selby District councillors voted for Heronby as their preferred single settlement option to be included in the forthcoming Local Plan.

Last week The Press reported that City of York Council is to lodge an official objection over Selby District Council’s preference to build Heronby around 1km from the York council boundary.

Corporate director of place Neil Ferris also called into question the viability of the proposed development, and said Selby council officers had failed to engage at key stages of the process on cross-boundary issues.

Selby has not yet made a final decision and is currently holding a consultation on its Local Plan, of which Heronby is a key part. The development would be built in stages and would not be finished until the 2060s.

According to a York council report, Selby council and Heronby developer, Escrick Park Estates, have underestimated the likely traffic impact on the A19 and Naburn Lane.

But Jonathan Coulson from consultants Turnberry Consulting said: “Significant highways improvements are only viable when you have a long-term, large-scale plan in place. Not only has Heronby been designed as a walkable community with its own facilities, services and amenities within walking distance, it also has the Trans-Pennine cycle route running right through the middle, providing the opportunity for people to cycle safely to work in either York or Selby.”

Among the improvements proposed for the A19 are significant upgrades to junctions at the Skipwith Road, Crockey Hill and the A64, which links to the York Designer Outlet park-and-ride.

In addition, Mr Coulson said a bypass around Escrick village could mean 20,000 fewer vehicles each day going through the middle of the village, greatly improving the quality of life for its residents. It is also anticipated that bus services could return to Main Street.

The transport modelling was conducted by leading civil and transport planning engineers Bryan G Hall and shows that from Main Street in Riccall, south of Escrick, to the York Designer Outlet park-and-ride to the north.

York Press: Beilby Forbes AdamBeilby Forbes Adam

Beilby Forbes Adam of Escrick Park Estate said: “The concept of Heronby is a walkable community where most people should be able to walk to the shops, to school, to work, and to the park.

“Pedestrians and cyclists are being prioritised in the Heronby masterplan, with homes located around a village centre and three local neighbourhood centres. Most homes will be no more than a five-minute walk from a centre.

“Of course, it is not always possible to leave the car at home, which is why the Heronby proposals also provide an opportunity to look at how the A19 might be improved in the future, cutting journey times for both bus passengers and drivers, and increasing safety for pedestrians.”

For more information on Heronby, please visit