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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 - June 2024

Background

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.

 

June 2024 update

 

The council is moving forward with its plans for Blyth Relief Road as it works to refresh its outline business case.

The proposed scheme involves the construction of a new dual carriageway and road widening of the existing single carriageway to dual carriageway along the length of the A1061. In addition, it is proposed to construct a new single carriageway link between Chase Farm Drive and Ogle Drive.

The scheme aims to reduce local congestion, reduce car and bus journey times, offer greater walking and cycling opportunities and support opportunities for future growth in Blyth.

Following Department for Transport feedback earlier this year, the Council is now refreshing its Outline Business Case to update traffic modelling following COVID, reflect on the consultation programme held last Autumn and provide more detail on how it links with other schemes in the area, such as the Northumberland Line and new cycle corridors.

A revised programme for the project is being developed at present with a view to a planning application being submitted towards the end of the year.

Meanwhile, part of the scheme’s public consultation last autumn included a proposal to close the southbound slip road onto the A189 (Shankhouse) due to it being below modern design standards.

There were significant concerns raised about this proposal due to the importance of this access to the A189, particularly for residents living west of the main road.

Further assessment of traffic modelling, accident statistics and potential minor improvements has now concluded that the Shankhouse slip road should remain open in future plans.

The updated Outline Business Case will therefore now include retention of the southbound slip road onto the A189 (Shankhouse) as part of the submission to DfT.

 

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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