COUNCIL chiefs say work to repair a stretch of road damaged by a landslip more than a year ago is progressing to schedule.

Phase one of the repair works to the A67 between Piercebridge and High Coniscliffe, near Darlington, is now complete and saw Northumbrian Water carry out tests in advance of the main works starting.

The second and third phases will begin shortly and involve the closure of the road from June 2 until next April.

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Since the land slip was identified in February last year, Darlington Borough Council and Northumbrian Water have worked to investigate the problem, find a solution and successfully bid for £2.4m of Government funding to fix the road.

A council spokesman said: “The road is a vital link between Darlington and Teesdale and we want to restore and protect it.

“We recognise that phases two and three will mean a significant period of disruption for residents, businesses, visitors and commuters and we are doing all we can to keep this to a minimum.

“We’ve held a series of information events with the communities that will be affected by the road closure and where possible have adapted plans to accommodate their views.”

Phase two will will enable Northumbrian Water to divert pipes out of the unstable section of road. This will take approximately four months, involving a diversion of about 1km of new pipeline and some major works within the road.

During phase three, the road will remain closed allowing some 387m of unstable embankment and road to be stabilised.

While the road is closed, the diversion route will be the B6275, B6279 Staindrop Road, B6280 Carmel Rd North and A67 Coniscliffe Road and vice versa.

Durham Lane will not be open and use of this road will only for residents to gain access to their properties from Ulnaby Lane.

The condition of the diversion route will be regularly monitored and any issues fixed promptly.

During the closure, the Arriva bus service 75/76/76A will operate a half-hourly service from Darlington to Barnard Castle, via Staindrop Road, Monday to Saturday.

As during the last closure a temporary taxi bus, service 67, will operate from High Coniscliffe to Darlington town centre for the part of the bus route cut off by the temporary road closure.

This service will be improved with additional journeys in the afternoon and evening, and will operate seven days a week.

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