Annual maintenance to begin on Sutton Bank

2 September 2021

Sutton Bank on the A170 between Helmsley and Thirsk will undergo an annual maintenance programme later this month.

North Yorkshire County Council’s highways team will carry out the work which includes the inspection and maintenance of the rock face to ensure the route remains structurally safe in the future.

A full road closure will be in place from the morning of Sunday, 12 September until the evening of Sunday, 19 September, weather permitting. Sutton Bank will remain closed until Sunday, 26 September, for utility works by BT.

Councillor Gareth Dadd, member for the Thirsk division, said:

We have worked incredibly closely with BT to keep the timescale of their work to two weeks,” s“They are able to carry out part of their work during our annual maintenance which will minimise disruption as much as possible.

We ask road users for their cooperation during the closure as the work is essential in keeping this important route in good condition to meet the traffic demands placed on it.

For the first time the diversion will not follow the caravan route and instead the route is:

A19 South from Thirsk to York Ring Road;

East along York Ring Road to junction with A64; or

North on A64, joining A169 to Pickering, and back onto the A170.

Access to homes on Sutton Bank will be maintained whenever possible. However, due to the nature of the works there may be times when access will be restricted.

Because this year’s closure is for two weeks the decision has been made to re-route the diversion away from Ampleforth, where many residents lack off-street parking. The impact of coronavirus has left more people working at home, with more cars at the roadside. Ampleforth Parish Council is also looking for ways to alleviate congestion while Sutton Bank is closed.

Councillor Caroline Goodrick, who represents Ampleforth, said

Whilst I appreciate that the maintenance work causes short term inconvenience, for which we apologise, the benefits of the work long term outweigh the inconvenience. This year traffic will be directed away from Ampleforth village and I know the villagers will be very grateful for this change as the main route through the village is often difficult to negotiate due to parked vehicles.


County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said:

Residents have welcomed the decision to change the diversion route as we realise parked vehicles in Ampleforth will be a real problem, especially with more people working from home.

We have also considered the implications of the extended closure. If the usual diversion was in place this would direct traffic through the small village of Ampleforth for an extra week.

We apologise in advance for any inconvenience, but ask you to familiarise yourself with the diversion route and allow extra time for your journeys.

If you require any special access during the works period, contact the County Council on 01609 780780.

For further information including details of the diversion please go to


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