MOTORISTS are facing another three weeks of congestion and delays on the A64 near York.

The Highways Agency has warned that the dual carriageway will be restricted to a single lane in each direction until Friday, May 3.

A spokeswoman said the restrictions were needed to carry out work on drains and the central reservation barrier as contractors sought to complete a major underpass and carriageway re-construction scheme at Copmanthorpe by the end of May.

She said all restrictions would be lifted for the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, before they were temporarily re-imposed for part of May to allow works to be finished.

She ruled out suggestions that the work should be restricted to evenings, saying this could delay completion until the busier June period.

"This is the final push," she said.

Fuming drivers have been stuck recently in long jams stretching back in one direction to the Buckles Inn, and in the other direction to the A19 Selby road.

The queues are gradually worsening as traffic levels build up with the onset of the main tourist season.

One driver contacted the Evening Press to complain that he had been unnecessarily held up in the jams for more than 20 minutes while on his way to work.

Michael Cadoux said he had been driving along the westbound carriageway to turn into Tadcaster Road at Dringhouses but had got stuck in traffic queuing to go towards Leeds.

He said the agency should have allowed traffic to stay in the left-hand lane and filter into Tadcaster Road, with the remainder staying in the right hand lane which would then become the single-lane of traffic.

But the agency said the work programme could not accommodate such an arrangement at the moment.

However, traffic flows were being monitored and the lay-out could be modified as the contract proceeded.

Updated: 12:06 Tuesday, April 16, 2002