CAMPAIGNERS are calling for answers over traffic issues in Northallerton – claiming promises a new link road will be open by spring are ‘nonsense’ because work to create a vital new railway bridge has not even started.

The North Northallerton Link Road is being created as part of a development of more than 900 homes between Stokesley Road, the A684, and Darlington Road, the A167, in the town.

Despite a sign which has been in place for many months saying the link road will be open by spring 2020 – amended last year from spring 2019 – residents say this cannot be possible because work to create the necessary bridge over the railway which is part of the new road has not even begun.

Resident Tony Webster, who has been campaigning for a traffic management plan for the town, said it is a travesty amid mounting concern over traffic problems in the town centre.

Level crossings over the railway at either end of the town have long been a cause of concern because traffic is regularly backed up into the high street and beyond.

He said: "This is nonsense. The fact that the sign says North Northallerton Link Road opening spring 2020 is just an example of the dream world that seems to exist when it comes to traffic management in the town. There is a lot of talk and very little action.

"There is no way that road could be opened in the next three to six months, nothing has happened on the bridge and having spoken to builders it will take months to get that finished."

“In the meantime traffic is backed up through the town, Christmas Eve was an absolute nightmare.

"Our MP Rishi Sunak was taking this up but we have heard nothing more. For 2020 we need answers, and we need a proper timetable as to when work is going to start and when we can expect to see improvements."

No one was available to comment at North Yorkshire County Council. A spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey said: “We are continuing to work with North Yorkshire County Council in seeking the relevant approvals required to commence works in the New Year.”

Work on the link road originally started in April 2017.

The York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership budget earmarks £3.167m for Central Northallerton road improvements with nothing spent so far but over £400,000 due to be spent in 2019/2020.