Kex Gill has a history of landslips and instability, over the years there have been many unplanned and costly closures of the A59 at Kex Gill. Road closures at Kex Gill cause an inconvenience not just for users of the A59, but for those in the surrounding towns and villages through which traffic is required to make a six mile diversion.
The A59 provides a very important east-west connection in North Yorkshire, linking Harrogate and Skipton. More widely, it provides a route across the north of England, between junction 31 of the M6 and junction 47 of the A1(M).
Following detailed consultation work, it was determined that the best way to address the ongoing issues of landslips and instability in the longer-term would be to reroute the A59 at Kex Gill.
The project would see a new stretch of road of about three miles long across the valley. The new stretch of road would begin Kex Gill Farm, and follow a bridleway along the north edge of the valley, returning to the A59 at the turn off to Otley at Church Hill.
This preferred route for the realignment was agreed by North Yorkshire County Council in July 2018, following a public consultation on various proposals. The Outline Business Case and the Technical Appraisal Report for the scheme have been submitted to the Department for Transport for their input, and surveys to assess the environmental impact of the project are ongoing.
It is hoped construction could start in the spring 2020 and it is expected that the road would take 14 months to complete. It is estimated the project would cost around £40 million. Work is ongoing on the detailed design of the scheme.
Julian Smith said: ‘I am delighted that this project is moving to the next stage and I hope that every interested user of the A59 contributed to the consultation. This stretch of road is vital to the local area and as a trans-Pennine route for freight and other users. I am assisting North Yorkshire County Council to ensure they are given the fullest support from central government.’
Further information about the scheme and the route is available online at www.northyorks.gov.uk/kexgill.