THE verdict is in. Bedale, Aiskew and Leeming Bar bypass is a good thing. Fears that it could be the road to nowhere have been allayed, it’s achieved its objectives according to North Yorkshire County Council, the force behind the new route.

Five minutes off travelling times, 7,000 vehicles taken out of communities, less crashes and cleaner air. It also improves east to west connectivity, particularly from the A1, now that’s a main aim for the highway big guns.

While traders are not totally convinced, the jury still seems to be out on whether the road is a total success from their point of view. There was always concern that taking through traffic out of Bedale would affect footfall, but the positives of the improved environment and the knock on effect of attracting people in seems to be helping to relieve some fears.

The generally agreed definite bonus is that the new bypass is a much improved approach to the town and to the Dales with gently rolling countryside and views towards the fabulous St Gregory’s Church and Bedale Hall.

There are still questions, not least how on earth did the cost of the road go down from original estimates in 2012 of £42m to an actual price when contractors Wills Brothers Ltd finished the job of £34.5m.

Big changes in the road network are being made. The transformation of the A1 into the motorway it should long have been has to be a bonus for most. This latest survey on the bypass shows it has been a boost for many. Major road updates are such a big upheaval and a massive cost we have to make sure they do a job that needs to be done.That is always going to be debatable, the most important element has to be the delicate balance of who is helped and who and what is hurt.