CYCLISTS warn a £380m upgrade of the A1motorway has left them high and dry without a safe crossing over what has become a barrier between the East and West of the region.

Now they’re organising a public meeting to set up a forum to lobby for improvements. Richmondshire Sustrans Rangers claim they have been lobbying for four years to get provision for cycles on access roads and bridges along the new motorway between Leeming Bar and Barton in North Yorkshire.

But they say they’re worse off than ever because the new road has cut through the only cycle route linking both sides of the road around Catterick Garrison.

Ranger Barbara Gravenor said:”We have been attending meetings with the Highways Agency for non motorway users for the past four years but have failed to obtain any provision for cyclists in regard to the upgrade of the A1.

“We were only asking for a small section of tarmac around a metre wide on the bridges and access road. The motorway has become a barrier between East and West, it is a worse situation than it was before. It makes it very dangerous for cyclists.”

Mrs Gravenor said they’re particularly concerned that with the announcement of work on the A66, provision is made for cyclists.

“The same mistakes cannot be allowed to be made again. We realise we need to represent a greater number of cyclists and members of the public who are potential cyclists in Richmondshire. Through this forum we hope to open a dialogue between cyclists and politicians to enhance the provision for cyclists at the grass route level.”

A spokesperson for Highways England said: “The A1 Leeming to Barton improvement scheme will provide cyclists with a new local access road alongside the motorway which will provide a quieter and safer alternative to the previous route where cyclists would have relied on using the A1 or local roads.

“Each of the new bridges provides facilities for cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians.

"Once completed the £380m A1 Leeming to Barton scheme will unlock growth and boost the economy by creating a continuous motorway-standard route between London and Newcastle, including the M1 and A1M. It will also improve journey times and increase safety."

The public meeting is being held at Richmond Station on September 18 at 7pm.