Hull A63 Castle Street £250m upgrade scheme delayed for fourth time

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Media captionHighways England's A63 Castle Street scheme will not be finished until 2025

A £250m scheme to develop a key route in Hull has been delayed for a fourth time.

Work to build an underpass at Mytongate and a footbridge linking the marina and city centre will now start March 2020 and will not be completed until 2025.

The footbridge was originally planned to be open this year as Hull celebrates its UK City of Culture status.

Highways England said it wanted to "resolve technical and practical challenges" at the A63 Castle Street.

Hull City Council said it was "extremely disappointed" by the news.

The revelation has also angered MPs and business leaders, who said the deferral "sticks in the throat".

Dominic Yeardley, managing director of Eurovision Logistics, based on Humber Dock Street, said: "I just cannot think of one valid reason why it's being delayed yet again.

"I was amazed when they were saying it was more complex than they first thought because really we've talked about it for so long."

Image copyright Highways England
Image caption Work on the footbridge in front of Princes Quay was delayed last year

Hull West and Hessle Labour MP Emma Hardy said: "It sticks in the throat when other schemes around the country don't seem to have a delay that this scheme in Hull has had year on year."

Last year Highways England pushed work on the footbridge back to 2018. Earlier this year it deferred construction again to 2019.

In a statement, the government body said it understood the "frustration and disappointment".

"We are committed to delivering the important A63 improvement which will relieve congestion and improve accessibility to the Port of Hull as soon as we possibly can."

Image copyright Balfour Beatty
Image caption The Highways Agency said the A63 Castle Street was one of the busiest stretches in East Yorkshire

A63 Castle Street scheme

A mile-long stretch of the major road, used by nearly 50,000 vehicles each day, is earmarked for redevelopment.

Under the Highways England proposals, the A63 at Castle Street would be lowered at Mytongate junction, with Ferensway and Commercial Road, creating an underpass or "a split level" where traffic can continue to flow.

The eastbound carriageway would be widened from two lanes to three between Mytongate and Market Place.

Two footbridges are planned - one at Porter Street and another in front of the Princes Quay shopping centre - allowing pedestrians to cross above Castle Street from the city centre to the marina.

Once the project is completed, it would mean improved safety, better access to the docks and between the city centre and marina, as well as easing traffic congestion during peak times.

Source: Highways England

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