Major milestone reached in project to improve paths

An artists impression of a section of the work that will take place to improve infrastructure for cyclists in Morpeth.
An artists impression of a section of the work that will take place to improve infrastructure for cyclists in Morpeth.
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A scheme to provide a new cycleway and other improvements for pedestrians and road users on the Stobhill approach to Morpeth has reached a major milestone.

The first phase, connecting Shields Road with Stobhill roundabout, is now complete and open for use by pedestrians and cyclists.

New facilities include widened shared paths between Shields Road, Stobhill and the new South Fields estate; crossing improvements on Stobhill roundabout; and an upgraded toucan crossing point opposite Sainsbury’s.

The upgraded, broader paths allow pedestrians and cyclists to share the path, with signs and road markings added later when the other stages of the project have been finished.

Work on phase two has started and involves the improvements from the crossing point at Sainsbury’s to the railway station.

Construction has begun on improving the junctions at Shields Road and Grange Road which will see them narrowed to reduce the crossing distance for people on foot and bike and to slow down vehicle drivers entering the residential streets.

Paul Jones, director of local services and housing delivery at Northumberland County Council, said: “We are making good progress on this project, and both pedestrians and cyclists are already making good use of the new paths and upgraded ‘toucan’ crossing point. The additional crossing points will benefit all road users by making this a safer route for journeys to the station and into the town.”

“Although we don’t expect there to be significant disruption during this next phase of work there will be some periods when it will be necessary to have cones and barriers in place, including temporary traffic lights, in order to safeguard road users, pedestrians and staff as the works progress.

“We organise the work to minimise any disruption to road users as far as is possible, and ask for people’s continued patience during this period and that, if necessary, they allow a little bit more time to complete their journeys.”

The final phase of the project, from the railway station to Castle Square, will follow completion of Phase 2.

The project is part of wider work throughout the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area to improve sustainable travel options at key transport gateways.

The approaches to Morpeth station were identified as a location where infrastructure for cyclists should be improved.

It is being implemented by the council and has been wholly funded by a £600,000 award through the North East LEP from the Local Growth Fund, part of the North East Growth Deal.