Lobby group targets politicians over A1079

An influential lobby group pressing for much-needed improvements to the A1079 Hull to York road is urging national and regional politicians to support the campaign if only to protect the future of local economies and jobs.

Action Access A1079, which consists of representatives from communities served by the road, says the future economies of some of East Yorkshire’s towns and villages could be compromised unless action is taken soon to improve the road and its traffic flow.

The group has submitted a report to Transport Secretary Lord Adonis, Transport Ministers and Shadow Ministers, Rosie Winterton, Minister for Yorkshire and the Humber, and local MPs Greg Knight and Graham Stuart, highlighting the “urgent need to upgrade this strategic route between the Humber Ports and York”.

Its chairman, Graham Hicks, said: “We fear the current and future economic sustainability of the communities in our region could be damaged because of an inadequate transport system. Businesses simply cannot rely on the region’s transport and this is bound to have a major impact on investment and employment.”

Prior to June 2009, the A1079 was listed as the 7th most dangerous road in the United Kingdom (by the Road Safety Foundation for the European Road Assessment Programme) and thousands of everyday users are only too well aware of its failings.

Mr Hicks said: “Road safety and accident figures have improved but this has been largely down to a greater police presence and the introduction of more speed cameras.

"We know that the main cause of accidents on this mainly single carriageway road is poor junction design and inappropriate overtaking as a result of driver frustration. We recognise that it might not be economically possible to upgrade the full 30-mile stretch to dual carriageway, even though it is sorely needed."

“We believe that as little as £15m would be enough to create three new roundabouts at Wilberfoss, Pocklington and Thorpe le Street, near Shiptonthorpe. This sum would also allow for at least one, possibly two new stretches of dual carriageway.

“In terms of national transport budgets, this is not a lot to ask for but it could mean the long-term economic survival of many of our A1070 towns and villages.”

Mike Stathers, Group member and chair of Shiptonthorpe Parish Council, said: “Some improvements to the A1079 have been made in the past few months but much more needs to be invested in this very important transport link. Shiptonthorpe is just one of a number of villages adversely affected by the road where traffic is brought to a walking pace at the beginning and end of each weekday. Many residents here would love to see the Shiptonthorpe by-pass proposal brought back to life and the argument for this grows stronger by the day.

He added: “The A1079 is central to our area’s economy and employment but major improvements to safety and traffic flow must be put in place soon if some of our smaller communities are not to become little more than commuter corners of East Yorkshire.”

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