People can have their say on two major road improvement schemes which are designed to reduce congestion, improve journey times and transform east-west travel across the Tees Valley as further details of the schemes are revealed today (23 November).
The Darlington Northern Link Road is a proposed new £200million project between the A66 and A1(M) and is a key strategic transport and infrastructure priority for the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority.
Currently traffic from the region wanting to travel north on the A1 is forced to use the A167 and A1150 through built-up areas of Darlington, with HGVs passing by schools and through communities, causing delays, noise and risking accidents.
To ease these problems, a new single carriageway road has been proposed, running for 4.6miles from the Little Burdon roundabout, via Barmpton and Brafferton, to a new junction with the A1(M). This could collectively save motorists up to 250,000 hours per year, as well as establishing an efficient link with Newton Aycliffe, the expanding port facilities on the River Tees, Teesworks and Teesside International Airport.
The second major development will boost the A689 from Wynyard through to Hartlepool town centre, with junction enhancements in the Wynyard area, capacity improvement on the A19/A689 interchange and other developments at strategic points towards the centre of Hartlepool, such as Owton Manor Lane and Brenda Road.
A new, traffic-free cycle route and footway between Wolviston Services roundabout and Queens Meadow is earmarked, as well as a potential new cycle route between Sedgefield and Wynyard housing developments. This would encourage people to get on their bikes as an alternative to using the car by creating a continuous cycle network between Sedgefield and Queens Meadow.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Improving our transport infrastructure is a huge priority for me, so that local people and our amazing businesses can quickly and efficiently get from A to B for business and pleasure.
“These plans will not only provide the improved roads that our businesses and local people are crying out for, they will take a huge amount of traffic, including HGVs, away from our schools and local neighbourhoods – directly improving people’s lives.
“Having good road links is also key in securing the investments that are creating the good-quality well paid jobs we all want to see come to Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, that’s why transformational infrastructure projects such as these are an essential part of my plan for jobs.
“But it’s not all about roads, we are also investing a huge amount to provide new cycleways and paths, so that local people who want to ride as an alternative to driving can do so and feel safe.
Leader of Darlington Council and Cabinet Transport Lead for the Combined Authority Heather Scott said: “This is a much-needed improvement to our infrastructure that will support our aspirations for the Borough. We are continuing to build the case for the project and feedback from residents and businesses across our borough and beyond is welcomed.
“Your support to help take this project to the next level is important and I urge everyone to get involved with these online events to find out more and give their views”
Public engagement events have now been launched on the schemes and, due to the current measures surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, all material is available online. Local people can find more information at www.teesvalley-ca.gov.uk/consultations.
A state-of-the-art virtual exhibition room is also available for the Darlington North Link Road proposal. These stages of work and feedback received will conclude with the submission of an Outline Business Case to Government in early 2021 for funding.
Online public engagement meetings for the proposed Darlington North Link Road are also planned and will take place on
- 7th December 18.30-19.30 – For Whinfield Road/A1150 area residents
- 8th December 12.30-13.30 – General
- 9th December 18.30-19.30 – For Brafferton area residents
Information on how to sign up for these events is on www.teesvalley-ca.gov.uk/consultations