Decision to be made tomorrow on the cost of the Bedale Bypass
Last month the Department for Transport (DFT) announced that it was only pledging £35.9M towards the Bedale, Aiskew, Leeming Bar (BALB) Bypass; 14M less than the council had originally asked for to be paid towards the scheme.
This new figure has left North Yorkshire County Council with a huge deficit. Depending on the final costs of the scheme, the council could now be forced to pay anywhere between £6.5M and £23.5M.
Senior members of the council will meet tomorrow (17th January 2012) to decide what is to be done regarding the shortfall. The council will have to make a decision on whether they can afford to cover the cost outstanding or whether they will be forced to abandon the scheme.
The Bedale, Aiskew, Leeming Bar (BALB) Bypass scheme’s primary objectives are to reduce traffic congestion; reduce environmental and road safety problems in our communities; improve access to Leeming Bar Industrial Estate and from the A1; and boost tourism across the Yorkshire Dales.
The Bypass will allow traffic to bypass our market town of Bedale and the villages of Leeming Bar and Aiskew, which has an Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) flow of 14,500 vehicles along the A684 around the Leeming Bar area and is the main route between Bedale, Northallerton and the Yorkshire Dales.
By completing the bypass, it has been stated that 60% of this traffic will be removed from Bedale, Aiskew and Leeming Bar.
When we looked into the background of the Bedale Bypass consultation, we found out that there was “Very substantial level of support for a bypass”.
The consultation report released by North Yorkshire County Council in March 2010 states that:
“Of the 1370 questionnaire respondents, 93.2% (1277) support the principle of a bypass of these communities. Of the remaining 6.8% of respondents, 1.2% (16) were ‘undecided’, leaving 5.6% (77) who were against the proposal.”
This report would suggest that our community have their hopes set on this Bypass going ahead, to boost tourism and to reduce the vast amount of traffic on our roads.
Who knows what the council will decide tomorrow after being left with such a shortfall in funding; it’s not a decision we’d like to face!
We will update our blog as soon as we know the council’s decision. For now, let us know your thoughts on the issue below..
You can also view the original proposal leaflet for the Bedale Bypass Scheme here: http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=6134&p=0