Kex Gill: What does the future hold for troubled route into Harrogate?

The A59 at Kex Gill has been causing problems for motorists for some time.
The A59 at Kex Gill has been causing problems for motorists for some time.

Frustrated drivers could soon see the troubled A59 at Kex Gill partially re-opened, but a long term solution is further down the line.

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Close to 200 people gathering at Norwood Social Hall last Saturday, where North Yorkshire County Council revealed its preferred option for realigning the road, which has a long history of landslips.

Now closed for more than a month, temporary repair work could see it open this weekend to single lane traffic, in time for the Great Yorkshire Show.

NYCC Executive memberfor Highways, Coun Don Mackenzie, says it will remain open when permanent repairs are carried out, a major concern for businesses near the A59. He said: “We are always willing to meet the business people in the area affected by the closure. In any event, I am confident that we will have the road open this weekend. As far as the work which will take place to bring about a permanent repair is concerned, this should not require another full closure.”

NYCC has previously said the long-term solution to problems on the road would be realignment.

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Coun Mackenzie said: “The current location of the A59 at Kex Gill, dating back almost 100 years, is inherently precarious. A narrow ledge on a steep slope halfway up the side of a valley is not a favourable location. It is too susceptible to landslips. Previously these have occurred above the highway. This time the instability is under the highway.”

The new route, to the east, would start close to the junction with Hall Lane , moving west along high ground, in a bow shape, until it rejoined the A59 at the junction with the road leading up to the quarry.

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At a meeting of the NYCC Executive on July 24, approval will be sought to carry out work for this preferred realignment route. If approved further consultations will be carried out, says Coun Mackenzie, who believes that with a 14 month construction period, it could be completed by Spring 2021

Howard Barker, Washburn parish councillor and owner of Petties Paws said: “This does need to happen soon.

“We cannot afford this road to keep on shutting as it has been.”