A major scheme to improve one of Northumberland’s most congested roads will get underway over the coming months.
The £740,000 scheme to reduce congestion on Cowpen Road in Blyth was initially planned to be carried out in three stages over several months.
But now Northumberland County Council is planning to run the three phases consecutively, speeding up the work and improving the traffic flow.
The work will involve removing the traffic lights on Tynedale Drive at its junction with Cowpen Road and converting the junction into a priority junction with no right turn from Tynedale Drive.
The current traffic signals on Coniston Road junction will be retained but upgraded with more modern, energy efficient lights. The Tynedale Drive junction will also be widened slightly.
The north side of Cowpen Road will then be widened between the Asda roundabout and Maple Crescent by reducing the widths of verge and footway and removing an existing layby.
This will allow for an additional lane on the exit from the Asda roundabout travelling east and for new right turn lanes into Maple Crescent and the schools.
Finally there will be new road markings on the A189 roundabout and approaches, and improved road signs.
It is planned that the work on Tynedale Drive will get underway in December, with the road widening and other work starting in the New Year. All work should be complete by March 2017.
Local County Councillor Susan Davey said: “Improving this congested road has been a top priority identified by local residents and visitors and I’m delighted we’re able to get this improvement work done in one go. While there will inevitably be some disruption, we will be working to keep this to a minimum.”
“We have always stressed that a key part of the scheme will be careful monitoring of the improvements to ensure traffic is moving better but I’m confident that Cowpen Road will be a safer and a freer flowing road in the future.”