NOTE: Although these schemes all appear under the list of those in the West Riding, the Dishforth to Barton scheme actually falls within the old North Riding of Yorkshire.
On the 14 February 2003, AMEC announced that Road Management Services (a consortium which is jointly owned by AMEC, Alfred McAlpine, Dragados, and Kellogg Brown & Root.) had finalised contracts with the Highways Agency to upgrade and operate a 33-mile section of the A1 in Yorkshire to motorway standard. The 3-year project had an investment value of around £245M.
Total funding for the 'Design, Build, Finance and Operate' (DBFO) contract, which covers the A1 between Darrington and Dishforth, was being secured through a £114M index-linked bond and a £110M facility from the European Investment Bank. The remainder was equity investment from the consortium shareholders.
Payment to the consortium on this new contract would be through a pioneering new system developed by the Highways Agency - based on the consortium's ability to deliver a high quality road operating service, minimise congestion and reduce road accidents. Revenue for the consortium would be based on a sliding scale dependent upon the volume and speed of traffic using the road. This would act as an incentive to conduct essential activities, such as maintenance works, at off peak times and to attend incidents on the network quickly, thereby benefiting road users.
The A1 Darrington to Dishforth DBFO project consisted of the operation and maintenance of 33 miles (53 km) of the A1(M)/A1(T) between Darrington, on the A1 just to the south of the existing A1/M62 Interchange, and the existing A1/A168 Interchange at Dishforth, east of Ripon. It also included the design and construction of two Targeted Programme of Improvement (TPI) schemes, which would provide 15 miles (24 km) of new dual three lane motorway. The two TPI schemes were: A1(M) Ferrybridge to Hook Moor (estimated cost £183M) which formally opened in early 2006, and A1(M) Wetherby to Walshford.
Wetherby to Walshford
The A1(M) Wetherby to Walshford Scheme was officially opened in December 2004,but inspections revealed damaged sections in both carriageways. While repairs were being undertaken, contraflows remained in place, with a speed limit of 50 mph. Full opening was delayed until late August 2005.
The scheme entailed the construction of a new 5 km length of dual three-lane motorway, diverging from the dual two-lane A1 north of the York Road, Wetherby,and connecting with the existing A1(M) at Walshford. A new junction, numbered 46, has been built to connect the new A1(M) with the re-aligned B1224 (York Link Road & Kirk Deighton Link Road), about 1 km north of Wetherby. The old access with York Road (the former B1224) has been closed, and there is now no access at Walshford. The bypassed section of the former A1 north of Kirk Deighton is now single carriageway, and renumbered A168. Immediately north-west of the new A1(M), part of the old A1 has been permanently closed.
Bramham to Wetherby
On the 25th June 2002 the Minister for Transport announced a package of improvements on the A1 which included a scheme to upgrade 10km (6 miles) of the A1 between the A64 Bramham Crossroads and Wetherby to a dual three-lane motorway, to be built at an estimated scheme cost of £68m. The main elements of the scheme were:
- widening 3km of the A1 to 3 Lanes each way and upgrading 12km of the A1 to motorway status
- closure of the A1 junctions at Walton Road,Wetherby Grange and Tenter Hill
- construction of a new bridge over the River Wharfe, 2 new bridges over the A1 at Wetherby Grange and Walton Road and demolition of the 2 existing bridges at these locations
- extensive works to accommodate non-motorway traffic
- extensive environmental measures including planting in the region of 9,000 trees and shrubs, 700 metres of noise bunding and 1,350 metres of noise fences to be installed at selected locations and the creation of 5 ponds for drainage
- archaeological surveys at Wattle Syke
Essential advance work included the removal of trees and shrubs to avoid the bird nesting season, the erection of bat boxes to provide new habitats for the five species of bat in the area, and preliminary archaeological surveys to identify and preserve any heritage items.
The scheme was carried out using Early Contractor Involvement (ECI), and the formal sod-cutting ceremony was carried out on the 22nd August 2007 by local resident Gillian Hudson. She used the same family spade that her late husband, the former mayor of Wetherby used in 1986, and her late father in law in 1957 for earlier by-pass schemes.
Probably the most significant milestone occured in late January 2008 when the installation of the bridge beams to the largest structure on site was completed. The bridge, with two large spans of 43m and 57m, carries the new A1(M) southbound carriageway over the River Wharfe and adjacent floodplain. Two cranes including a 1,000 tonne mobile unit carried out the lifts, the largest of which was 85 tonnes. Completion of the bridge was critical to further advancement of the main road works. The opening of the new southbound carriageway was scheduled for June 2008.
Dishforth to Barton (North of Scotch Corner)
In June 2002, the Secretary of State announced proposals for the upgrade of the existing 24 mile (38km) section of the A1 in North Yorkshire, between the A1(M) at Dishforth and the A1(M) at Barton, to dual three-lane motorway. The scheme will be delivered in two phases. Construction of the southern section from Dishforth to Leeming (about 19km) started in early 2009. Work on the northern section from Leeming to Barton is expected to follow in 2011.