Emma Hardy, MP for Hull West and Hessle, toured the site of National Highways’ A63 Castle Street improvement on 21 January to see progress being made and the difference the project is making to the local community.
In recent months, work has focused on removing various underground pipes in the way of new infrastructure, continuing construction of the main underpass and getting ready for the Porter Street bridge installation.
National Highways Project Manager Frances Oliver said:
Work is progressing extremely well and we are on track to install the new pedestrian and cycle footbridge at Porter Street in a few months’ time.
This important upgrade is a great example of how building back better will support economic growth through investment in infrastructure. The A63 Castle Street scheme will bring plenty of benefits, not just to the people of Hull, but to the wider economy. It will reduce congestion, improve safety and create better connections.
Ms Hardy also heard how National Highways and delivery partner Balfour Beatty are creating a lasting “local first” legacy, helping charities, businesses, suppliers, schools and colleges throughout the life of the scheme.
The project is engaging with young people on employment and skills activities, promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as a career.
Staff have engaged with over 1,700 individuals and delivered STEM based activities to more than 200 local students from schools, colleges and the University of Hull, including a full day of activities for 45 students from a local Special Educational Needs and Disabilities school.
The project team have also taken part in a Women in Manufacturing and Engineering pilot to encourage more women into STEM careers and are recruiting apprentices from the local area.
They’ve also raised money for charities including Macmillan Cancer Support, Anthony Nolan and blood cancer charity DKMS. Related to this they’ve generated 65 new donor sign ups to the stem cell register. They’ve also donated items to a local foodbank and women’s refuge as well as materials and staff time for an episode of the BBC’s DIY SOS.
Speaking after her visit, Ms Hardy said:
I was pleased to see the good progress being made at the site and hear that the project is running to its original schedule. The improvements will make a huge difference to area and National Highways’ continued commitment to developing education opportunities and to supporting local community groups is highly commendable.
The A63 Castle Street improvement started construction in 2020 and is due to complete in 2025. A new junction will be created by lowering the level of the A63 at the Mytongate junction. Ferensway and Commercial Road will cross the A63, creating a split-level junction. Between Princes Dock Street and Market Place the eastbound carriageway will be widened to three lanes. A new bridge will be built over the A63 at Porter Street.
Members of the public should contact the National Highways customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.