A comprehensive scheme to improve one of Northumberland’s most congested roads has now begun.
The £740,000 scheme to reduce congestion on Cowpen Road in Blyth is being carried out in three stages consecutively, speeding up the work and improving the traffic flow.
The first phase involves the removal of the traffic lights from Tynedale Drive and improvement of the traffic lights at Coniston Road, which will make traffic flows on Cowpen Road at these junctions more efficient.
Starting on Saturday, January 21, Tynedale Drive and the right turn off Cowpen Road into Coniston Road will be temporarily closed.
On Sunday, January 22 the traffic lights at the Tynedale Drive junction will be switched off and works to the signals at the Coniston Road junction will be carried out. This end of Coniston Road will be closed that day.
There will be no lane closures on Cowpen Road.
Starting on Monday, January 23, the Tynedale Drive junction will be widened, with the work expected to take around a fortnight.
Resurfacing work will also be carried out on consecutive Sunday evenings from January 29 with main road traffic diverted via the industrial estate to minimise disruption.
Future phases, where preparation work is already well underway, will involve widening the north side of Cowpen Road between the Asda roundabout and Maple Crescent by reducing the widths of verge and footpath and removing an existing layby, making this a much safer stretch of road,
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 which will allow traffic to flow more freely.
Finally there will be new road markings on the A189 roundabout and approaches, and improved road signs.
Local County Councillor Susan Davey, who has long campaigned for the changes, said: “It’s great that this long-awaited and desperately needed scheme is finally getting underway.
“While there will inevitably be some disruption, as with any roadworks, we will be working to keep this to a minimum. It’s important we bear in mind why this work is being done – to improve safety, reduce congestion and improve journey times for the thousands of people who use this road every day.
“We have always stressed that a key part of the scheme will be careful monitoring of the improvements to ensure traffic is moving better and I’m confident that Cowpen Road will be a safer and a freer flowing road in the future.”