Motorist’s frustration at lack of information on A59 at Kex Gill reopening
Feb 9, 2024
The damaged verge on the A59 at Kex Gill.

North Yorkshire Council is still unable to say when the A59 at Kex Gill will reopen.

The council announced the sudden closure of the main route between Harrogate and Skipton a week ago today. It said it was for safety reasons after a crack on the verge, which appeared the week before, had worsened.

The closure, which is close to a £68.8 million scheme to build a new road, is causing lengthy detours.

After being approached by motorists for an update, the Stray Ferret asked the council when the road is expected to reopen.

Melisa Burnham, the council’s highways manager, said today:

“Following the closure of the A59 at Kex Gill, our highways team has been conducting detailed site investigations, closely monitoring the area, and assessing the most effective repair scheme.

“The closure is a result of land instability due to the heavy rainfall experienced over a prolonged period this winter and is not related to the ongoing construction works.

“However, this closure does once again highlight the necessary decision to carry out the ambitious realignment project of the A59 at Kex Gill, which has had a long history of landslips.

“A signed diversion is in place and we ask all road users to adhere to the closure and diversion for their safety.

“We appreciate the inconvenience caused and would like to reassure the public that we will be carrying out this repair as quickly and as safely as possible.”

A ‘total lack of communication and urgency’ from council

Edward Winterschalden, who drives from Harrogate to Giggleswick twice a week, told the Stray Ferret the road closure has added “about 20 to 25 minutes each way to an hour’s journey, plus about eight miles each way”.

He urged the council to communicate better about the situation, adding:

“They’ve had a week to assess what needs to be done and how long to fix it. You can sort of live with hassle if you know what’s going on.

“One week has passed and nothing. The inconvenience to commuters, local residents etc is huge, yet a total lack of communication and urgency. More noise is needed.

“A major route connecting communities and businesses is closed and we have no idea when it will re-open.”

A three-mile section of road is being built in the landslip-prone area.

The Department for Transport is providing grant funding of £56.1 million and the remaining £12.7 million has been allocated from North Yorkshire Council’s capital reserves.

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