More work to improve safety of A19 in North Yorkshire

Safety campaigners and Rishi Sunak MP have welcomed continued work to improve safety on the A19 in North Yorkshire.

More works are to take place to close dangerous central reservation gaps and make junctions safer on the busy dual carriageway between Teesside and the A1.

At a briefing for the family of a pensioner who died on the road and have campaigned for improvements and MPs Kevin Hollinrake and Rishi Sunak who have backed the campaign, Highways England confirmed that further works would take place later in this financial year.

The central reservation gap at Stony Lane near the Cleveland Tontine, where Mrs Sonia Rose, 83, died when a vehicle strayed across the gap and crashed head-on into her car was closed earlier this year.

Ben Dobson, Highways England’s project manager, said the adjacent Mount Grace junction improvements included acceleration and deceleration lanes and that some land needed to be purchased to accommodate the extra lanes.

He added that final recommendations about improvements to more than 40 accesses and junctions on the A19 would be published in October.

The briefing was attended by Katy Rose, whose mother died in the 2017 Stony Lane accident, and her brother John.

She said she was pleased with the progress being made. “It was a significant step to get the central reservation at Stony Lane closed and the family are pleased that momentum at Highways England is being maintained with the support of our local MPs.”

Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond (Yorks), in whose constituency the fatal accident involving Sonia Rose took place, said: “The A19 in North Yorkshire has three times more central reservation gaps than a typical dual carriageway so it is gratifying to hear that Highways England is making good progress making this important North-South route safer for everyone.”

Kevin Hollinrake is the constituency MP for the Rose family. He said: “I am pleased to have been able to support Mrs Rose’s family, alongside Rishi, to help make sure that there will be no further tragedies of this sort on this stretch of road. It is good to know that Highways England is delivering on its promises to make this road safer.”

The study into the A19 junctions was commissioned last year following criticism of the road by the coronor who held the inquest into Mrs Sonia Rose’s death. The coronor’s call for safety improvements was backed by the two MPs and led to a campaign “Close The Gap” by the Darlington & Stockton Times.