A MULTI-million pound road widening scheme should be shelved as it will bring a dual carriageway just metres away from people’s gardens, a town council has claimed.
Thornaby Town Council has written to Stockton Council raising concerns about plans to widen the A174 single carriageway road, which links the Parkway roundabout and A174/A19 junction with the A1044 between Thornaby and Ingleby Barwick.
Work on the scheme, which received £3.3m of Government “pinch-point” funding last year, is due to start in May along with dualling of the road down to the A19, funded by the Highways Agency, and a roundabout linking into Teesside Industrial Estate.
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But the road is being widened to the north, bringing what will be a busy dual carriageway just metres away from residents’ gardens on Marykirk Road.
Stockton South MP James Wharton announced at the end of last year that it was in part due to his meeting with Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin that secured the “pinchpoint”cash.
And he said he had raised the issue of the proximity of the road to people’s gardens with bosses at Stockton Council.
Councillor Steve Walmsley, who represents Thornaby on Stockton Borough Council, and is also a Thornaby town councillor, said: “At a meeting in January residents living near to the A174 extension vented their collective spleen at plans to dual the road to within feet of properties that they have invested their lives in.
“It seems faceless people who come up with these schemes have once more surpassed themselves in contemptuous disregard for Thornaby.”
Coun Walmsley said the scheme was a direct result of “planning chaos” in neighbouring Ingleby Barwick and beyond, and should be shelved.
Stockton Council applied for funding to widen the single carriageway road to the north, near people’s homes, rather than to the south of the road, near the Teesside Industrial Estate, because there is a water main to the south, he said.
Councillor Mike Smith, Stockton Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and transport, said: “We have listened to the concerns of nearby residents and have been working to address them wherever it is possible to do so, within the constraints of the site. The scheme will feature improvements to landscaping to minimise its visual impact.
“This kind of strategic investment in our infrastructure is necessary so that we can adapt to the physical changes in our borough and keep traffic moving, which is vital to attracting new businesses, encouraging growth and boosting job opportunities.”