A major road upgrade that promises to completely transform one of the north of England’s major cities is now officially under way. Work started this week (ends 19 June) to improve the A63 Castle Street, which will create a much better connection between the city centre and the retail and docks area.
The improvements will also see Ferensway and Commercial Road cross the A63, creating a split-level junction. The eastbound carriageway between Princes Dock Street and Market Place will be widened to three lanes, and a new bridge built over the A63 at Porter Street. This major Highways England project will support Hull’s economic growth, improve journeys to and from the city centre, and help the Port of Hull to flourish.
“We are really pleased that we are now starting this long-awaited project. This major upgrade will greatly improve journeys into Hull and the Port of Hull,” says Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan.
“We’re working right across the country to level up infrastructure and the upgrades to the A63 Castle Street will provide the right tools to support Hull’s economic growth,” says UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. “As Northern Powerhouse Minister I welcome this vital improvement, which has the potential to cut journey times, improve reliability and boost businesses in the North.”
Castle Street is a key scheme in Transport for the North’s strategic transport plan, and will see the creation of a new junction by lowering the level of the A63 at the Mytongate junction.
“It’s great to see on-site works commence on this vital project just a few months after it was confirmed in the March 2020 Budget. This scheme will have a significant impact on local connectivity, reducing congestion and opening up the waterfront area for people and freight,” says Peter Molyneux, major roads director at Transport for the North. “Alongside other road and rail schemes across the North the A63 scheme is part of Transport for the North’s long-term vision for a sustainable, multimodal transport network that will support economic growth in our region for years to come.”
Work has begun at the Trinity Burial Ground, and a compound will be set up as offices on Wellington Street West. Work at the burial ground, which lies partially within the area where the scheme improvements need to be carried out, is being done with permission from the Church of England. Contractors are relocating monuments and removed walls in a careful and respectful manner, and are installing hoarding.
The bricks from the walls removed from Trinity Burial Ground are being stored so they can be reinstated at the end of the work. All the items being relocated are done so under the supervision of a mason on the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons, and will also be stored.
Meanwhile Hull’s new bridge, which will be named after the city’s first female GP Dr Mary Murdoch, opens this summer, having been built in advance of the main scheme to ensure connectivity during the work. It will connect the city centre to the marina, waterfront and fruit market. The bridge is going to cross the dual carriageway of the A63, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to safely cross the road, as well as reducing congestion on the A63.