Work is on track on a major scheme to re-open Ashington’s main shopping street to traffic.
A six-month scheme to improve Station Road, due for completion by the end of October, will see the road re-opened to through traffic in a bid to boost local trade.
Recent consultation with Ashington Town Council, the Town Team, local traders and residents showed 95 per cent were in favour of the proposal to open the street to traffic one-way, in a westbound direction.
The current pedestrianisation of Station Road dates from the early 1990s and was introduced in an effort to help stimulate local trade.
Northumberland County Council Leader Grant Davey said: “We are committed to re-establishing Ashington town centre as a thriving heart to the town and to attract more local customers.
“Through our detailed consultation, it’s overwhelmingly clear this is what local businesses and residents want to happen.
“We are carrying out the works in a phased manner and have ensured pedestrian access is maintained to shops throughout the scheme. We’re also working to minimise any noise and disturbance during the works as far as is possible.”
Proposals are also being explored as to how the council can support improvements to the shop fronts over the next two years as part of the longer term plans to improve Station Road and help boost the town centre economy.
Coun Davey added: “Traders and shoppers should be able to see the scheme really taking shape now.
“The work will help to facilitate plans to improve the streetscape including removing unnecessary street clutter, promoting improvements to shop-fronts and enable events to encourage local people back to the town centre.
“Giving motorists the opportunity to travel westbound from Grand Corner will have the added advantage of taking traffic away from what is currently a very busy junction.”
Residents can keep up to date with progress at a dedicated office for the Station Road regeneration scheme at 1 Wansbeck Square.
Drawings, plans and weekly progress updates will be displayed in the front window, while the office will be open for queries each weekday from 10am to 11am and 1pm to 2pm.