The first phase to improve one of Northumberland’s most congested roads gets underway next week.
A set of traffic lights will be removed from Cowpen Road in Blyth and a key junction improved in a bid to ease traffic flows.
The entire £750,000 scheme to reduce congestion on the main road will take place over a number of months in three stages.
The first involves 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 to help traffic flow.
This first phase of work will be complete before the Tall Ships Regatta gets underway on August 26, bringing thousands of visitors to the town.
Traffic flows will be carefully monitored following the work and any adjustments to traffic light timings carried out before any work starts on the remaining phases.
The second and third phases involve widening the road to create a ghost island right turn pocket for traffic turning into The Dales and Horton Grange Primary Schools and the amendment of traffic lanes near Chase Farm Drive by Asda for traffic coming from the Spine Road.
Local county councillor Susan Davey said: “Local people have had to put up with a dangerously congested Cowpen Road for years and I’ve been working hard to secure the funding to tackle the problem once and for all.
“It’s been a top priority identified by local residents and visitors alike and I’m delighted we’re able to get this improvement plan underway.
“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.”