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Blyth Relief Road intro

A Blyth Transport Appraisal was completed in 2015 and recommended several short, medium and long term options to take forward to help relieve congestion.

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Blyth Relief Road

Project Update - February 2024


The town of Blyth plays a key role in the regional economy, with the £70 million ‘Energising Blyth’ programme of investment aimed at making Blyth a thriving UK and international centre of renewable energy and advanced manufacturing growth and innovation. The proposed investment presents a real opportunity to grow the economy of Blyth and the wider area.

To ensure this economic growth becomes reality, it is essential that the links are in place to ensure the safe and efficient movement of people and goods and to facilitate more sustainable transport solutions, such as improved walking and cycling links and better access to the proposed Northumberland Line railway stations.

Northumberland County Council has been aware of traffic problems entering and leaving Blyth for several years. The two main roads into Blyth, the A193 Cowpen Road and A1061 Laverock Hall Road are heavily congested with over 20,000 vehicles a day on each road. In the long term, an increase in traffic is expected across the Blyth network associated with the delivery of the Local Plan. The transport network, in its current form, does not have the available capacity to accommodate this growth.

Congestion adversely affects the economic potential of the area, the movement of people and goods, particularly to and from the Port of Blyth, and has a harmful effect upon the environment through exhaust emissions from vehicles. The reliability of buses is also affected, particularly during peak hours, with the existing roads into Blyth highlighted by bus operators as causing delays to services. Congested roads also impact on the attractiveness of Blyth as a place to walk and cycle.

A new relief road - the realignment and dualling of the existing A1061 Laverock Hall Road to provide a direct dual carriageway connection between the A192 Three Horseshoes Roundabout and the A193 South Beach, has been identified as a means to relieve this congestion and facilitate the economic growth of the town. A new

complementary link is also proposed between Chase Farm Drive and Ogle Drive, also joining up with Tynedale Drive.

Being part of the Major Road Network (MRN), the middle tier of the country’s busiest and most economically important local authority ‘A’ roads, the Blyth Relief Road is eligible to access the National Roads Fund (NRF) which is expected to be spent nationally on major improvement schemes on those local roads designated as part of the MRN.


Business Case

The Outline Business Case (OBC) for the scheme has been submitted to the Department of Transport for approval. The OBC demonstrates high value for money and that the following four strategic objects will be achieved by the scheme:

· Journey time reliability: Improved journey time reliability across the local highway network in Blyth, particularly along the A193 Cowpen Road and the A1061. This will enable local bus services to better stick to published timetables.

· Road safety: Reduced road traffic accidents amongst all vehicle users on the local highway network in Blyth helping to create a more attractive environment for travel by sustainable modes.

· Air quality: Improved air quality in Blyth by reducing traffic congestion; and

· Development: Facilitates economic and housing development by removing barriers to growth.

The county council continues to respond to comments received from the Department for Transport with a view to receiving final approval of the business case in the coming weeks.


Scheme Design

The preliminary design of the road alignment is complete, and the proposed junctions have been assessed. The footpaths and

cycleways have also been incorporated into the design with connections to the existing network. Landscaping proposals are being prepared and the drainage requirements are being reviewed. Plans of the proposed scheme as it stands can be found here and here. Further information will be shared when available.


Planning Application

The Screening Opinion has been received from Planning and the Environmental Statement is being prepared. The ecology surveys are being carried out at present, air quality monitoring equipment has been deployed and noise measurement will commence shortly. Once the Environmental Statement is complete, we aim to submit the Planning Application for the scheme in April 2024.


Stakeholder Engagement

A stakeholder event was held back in the Summer of 2022 as part of the Blyth showcase event which presented a range of project proposals across the town. Useful feedback on the relief road was received at this event which has been reflected in the revised designs. A further stakeholder event is now programmed for the Autumn of 2023 to share the current designs for comments from key stakeholders. Further details will be widely shared nearer the time.



Blyth Relief Road - Public Consultation

The statutory public consultation for the proposed Blyth Relief Road scheme ended on the 11th December 2023.


What happens next

Following the completion of the public consultation process, we will assess the feedback received for the scheme and review designs accordingly. ahead of submitting a planning application seeking development consent. A Statement of Community Engagement will be submitted as part of the application including how the local authority have taken into account feedback received as part of the consultation. The report will be available from the Planning Portal in due course, details of which will be added here.


The project timeline is summarised below:

· Consultation completed on 11 December 2023

· Planning application submitted April 2024

· Planning approval August 2024

· Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2025 until Spring 2026


For any further queries regarding the Blyth Relief Road Project, you can get in touch by contacting Customer Services on:

0345 600 6400

Monday to Thursday 08:30 - 17:00

Friday 08:30 - 16:30

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