DRIVERS are bypassing Thirsk bypass because the surface of the road is so poor.

Nowadays many motorists prefer to travel into the town from the A1 via Topcliffe Road and the centre.

Thirsk and Sowerby town councils have both been pressing for improvements on the A168/A19 for several years to the concrete sectioned surface, which is noisy and uncomfortable because traffic bumps over the joinings.

Coun Freda Roberts told Thirsk Town Councils: "I can see more and more people ignoring the by-pass, I do myself, rather than be shaken about."

The chairman, Coun Derek Adamson, said the only way he could contemplate driving down the concrete by-pass was in the outside lane.

"At least it isn't quite as bumpy there. It is no longer funny driving down the by-pass, the surface is atrocious," he said.

Sowerby Parish Council had written asking for the council's support in applying pressure for improvements to be brought forward in view of the deteriorating surface.

The council had written to the Highways Agency asking when the road surface would be metalled over and had been told that it had been given a medium urgency priority and planned for the year 2007-8 or 2010-11, depending on finance available.

Short sections which need urgent repairs are being surfaced in the mean time.

The town council will support Sowerby in keeping up the pressure for earlier improvements.

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said that the road was part of a strategy to re-surface concrete roads.

"We have a number of sections of concrete road in our network which will be improved when money becomes available as advised to the council."