A COALITION of councils has launched a bid for £50m Government funding to cut congestion and improve safety on a major North Yorkshire road.

North Yorkshire, York, Ryedale and Scarborough councils have applied to the Government's Local Growth Fund for help to widen or create dual carriageways on sections of the A64 between York and Scarborough.

The announcement comes days after the Prime Minister told Thirsk and Malton MP Anne McIntosh in the House of Commons that he believed North Yorkshire’s road network to be “a major issue”.

The councils say the York, Ryedale and Yorkshire Coast local economies are significantly affected by congestion on the road, which has seen 21 deaths and 149 serious crashes between 2002 and 2012.

The authorities said the A64 schemes would be chosen after the outcome of the funding bid was revealed in July, but the project would have to be completed by 2021.

The councils hope further improvements, such as village by-pass schemes between Malton and Scarborough, can then be included in bids after 2021.

Councillor Gareth Dadd, the county council’s executive member for highways: “Whilst many people might have aspirations of a dual carriageway all the way to Scarborough, realistically there is not going to be enough Government funding to allow this in the foreseeable future.”