A MAJOR new study to look at the potential economic impact of the A64 road from York to Scarborough has been announced.

The wide-ranging study, commissioned by half a dozen key agencies in North Yorkshire, will look at existing transport problems in the area and seek the views of key investors, employers and business organisations.

The A64's role in key regeneration initiatives - including the Market Towns Initiative in Malton and Norton and Yorkshire Forward's Urban Renaissance programme for Scarborough - will also be considered.

Consultants Steer Davies Gleave are to carry out the work on behalf of organisations including the Yorkshire and Humber Assembly, Yorkshire Forward, the Highways Agency and Ryedale, Scarborough, York and North Yorkshire Councils.

It follows the publication of the Highways Agency's A64 Route Management Strategy last month which recommended a three-year action plan to deal with the most urgent issues, including safety at accident black-spots and improved crossing facilities.

Councillor Peter Box, chairman of the assembly, said the study will examine the wider economic benefits of improving the A64 corridor.

"The study is not a typical transport study which forecasts traffic flows and recommend investment decisions based on the flows," he said.

"This study will look at the role the A64 plays in the local economy and the range of initiatives to regenerate the Scarborough and Ryedale area.

"It is another example of the region's partners coming together to examine an issue so the best solutions, and opportunities, for local people can be found."

It is not clear whether the study will consider the economic and transport benefits of dualling the A64. Campaigners are still fighting for the busy road to be made dual carriageway across its full stretch.

Updated: 11:41 Thursday, October 31, 2002