Council to review new traffic study

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A traffic study which has investigated increasing transport and congestion levels in Blyth is to be reviewed.

The report identified particular issues surrounding traffic flow along Cowpen Road and Laverock Hall Road, the two main link roads from the town centre and seafront to the A189 Spine Road, due to high levels of congestion.

Following recent developments including the building of a large Asda store, new housing, two retail parks and existing industrial estate traffic, findings from the report concluded that reports of congestion continue to increase and for longer periods of time.

The council’s cabinet will discuss the report which recommends options for mitigating existing traffic problems in the interim, while approving support as part of the wider Northumberland core strategy for the additional required funding of up to £150,000 to meet longer-term plans to carry out traffic surveys, modelling and developing a business case to support any future funding application for a scheme to alleviate future traffic problems.

Cowpen ward councillor Susan Davey, said: “I have raised concerns about traffic safety and congestion on several occasions and I am pleased to see that developments are underway to tackle this growing issue.”

In the short-term, over the next two years, the study recommended a review and enforcement of parking standards, a review of traffic calming and improved public transport ticketing.

Additional longer term measures were recommended for further appraisal including the provision of a park and ride system, a new relief road, improved management and control of traffic signals and the opening of Ashington, Blyth and Tyne rail line to passenger services which is currently under appraisal as part of a separate study.

As part of Northumberland’s Economic Strategy (2015-2020) Blyth is identified as part of the south east’s investment zone. The purpose of the investment zone is to deliver significant industrial and housing developments while increasing connectivity with Tyneside through a good public transport system.

Blyth has also been identified in the North East Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) as an ‘innovation hub’ for the significant growth of low carbon and renewable energy sector activity, which is planned to be located near Blyth Estuary.

Pending the decision at cabinet, the council will commission the collection of data to identify options for investment.