A LONG-AWAITED multi-million pound road junction is set to open this Spring.

Work started on the Sowerby Gateway junction off the A168, near Thirsk, Nort Yorkshire, last July - almost five years after people were told it would be built as part of a massive housing development.

The new roadway off the A168 is part of the infrastructure stipulated when planning permission for the new Sowerby Gateway homes was granted.

Nearby residents had been told that the new road would be built before any of the planned 900 houses on the development but it was beset by delays.

However this week it was announced that the £6.5 million junction is on schedule to open this Spring.

Leader of Hambleton District Council, Councillor Mark Robson and his fellow Sowerby ward councillor, Councillor Peter Bardon visited the works this week to get an update.

Cllr Robson said: "Everything seems to be progressing well and on target to be completed this spring.

“The new junction is going to make a huge difference to the people of Thirsk and Sowerby as they travel into and out of the town.

“The contractor is working hard to minimise disturbance to the residents during the work and thanks them for their patience and co-operation.”

The Embankment filling operation and also the laying of stone layers to the foundations of the new road adjacent to the northbound side of the A168 are now complete.

Before the Christmas break, initial surfacing operations were undertaken on the main sections of carriageway adjacent to the southbound side of the A168 and the installation of street lighting in this area began.

With the exception of the carriageway gulleys, the installation of the new drainage systems by to the northbound carriageway are complete and the installation of kerbing has started.

Bulk top soiling works are underway on both the northbound and southbound sides in readiness for the final landscaping works.

The works at the tie of the new roundabout to the B1448 are progressing as programmed, with the installation of drainage gullies and ducting underway.

The junction is being constructed by NMCN in conjunction with Highways England and will extend the current interchange into a multi-directional junction.

The works have caused significant disruption to local residents, with A168 and B1448 entry and exit slip roads both being shut down for several months.