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£42.5m 'Dales Gateway' bypass overcomes final planning hurdle
THE £42.5m bypass for Bedale, Aiskew and Leeming Bar has taken a major step forward after clearing the last hurdle in the planning process.
The Department for Transport has confirmed the compulsory purchase orders needed for the land, following a public inquiry. While there is now a six-week challenge period until October 11, it is unlikely there will be any changes.
One amendment is already being made to alter the site round Leases Road to accommodate a new truck stop for Exelby Truck, which is being built near the A1 junction.
Coun Amanda Coates, mayor of Bedale, said the bypass had been a long time coming.
"We really welcome this, it is just a shame it has taken so long to get to this stage. We hope this can now progress quickly, " she said.
The three-mile road, which will take the main A684 route to the Dales north of the town and neighbouring communities, faces one last obstacle, to ensure the cash is available to build it.
The next step is for North Yorkshire County Council to go for a confirmed tender price for the road, which will need to be approved by the Department for Transport. The Government has agreed to foot the bill for £36m of the cost with the remaining money having to be put up by the county council.
Assuming the tender is within budget, the council hopes to award contracts in April or May 2014 with construction starting in July or August and the bypass completed by October 2016.
There have been concerns that the road will take business traffic out of Bedale, damaging High Street trade, and will not solve the problems of heavy wagons and agricultural vehicles in the town, some of which will still have to come down Masham Road.
But John Weighell, county councillor for Bedale, said: "I think this will make a vast difference to the shopping experience of Bedale market place when all the heavy lorries and caravans aren't going through the town. And it will also make a huge difference to the residents of Aiskew who live very near to the road.
"A large percentage of the traffic coming off the A1 and going up to Wensleydale through Bedale at the current time doesn't stop in the town.
"With the bypass it will go straight past without clogging up the market place and the junctions."
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