Delays ahead as work starts on improvements to busy roads

Hopes to boost local economy (8368599)

Hopes to boost local economy (8368599)

First published in News

WORK to improve three busy road junctions and ease traffic congestion in Chester-le-Street begins this weekend.

Park Road North and Blind Lane will both be closed in one direction from tomorrow (Saturday, July 19) as part of the £1.5m revamp of the Northlands roundabout, which will see Durham County Council install traffic signals at the junction of the A167 Newcastle Road and the A693 linking Stanley to the A1(M) motorway.

The improvements are designed to reduce congestion, provide much-needed pedestrian and cycling facilities, and ease delays to buses.

Officials hope that removing bottlenecks on these important commuter and bus routes will help the local economy.

Motorists could face disruption during the work. Blind Lane will be closed eastbound at the Northlands roundabout for about three weeks, with traffic diverted onto Park Road North and the A167.

Park Road North will be closed northbound at the roundabout for six weeks, with diversions on the A167 and Blind Lane.

Blind Lane will reopen to two-way traffic when it is considered safe and Park Road North will reopen using the new junction, which will be clearly signed, once the work has been completed.

This final stage of the Northlands scheme has been timed to coincide with the school summer holidays to minimise disruption.

The work is expected to be completed in early September when the new traffic lights will start to operate.

A further £3.1m will be invested in improvements to the Blind Lane junction with the A1(M) and the roundabout at Picktree Lane thanks to £2.2m of funding from the Government’s Local Pinch Point Fund. The work will get underway on August 4 and continue until March.

The council’s head of transport and contract services, Adrian White, said: “The significant investment in the Northlands roundabout traffic signals scheme at Chester-le-Street is vital in helping reduce congestion for motorists and bus passengers in this busy commuter town.

“This, together with planned improved links between Blind Lane and the motorway and the Picktree Lane roundabout scheme, will make sure that the council can effectively tackle the ongoing problems around congestion while providing the opportunity for economic growth in the area.

“While we appreciate the scheme may cause some disruption we would like to thank motorists for their patience while this important work is carried out.”

Comments (2)

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2:44pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Pete Sakes says...

No doubt like all other traffic lighted roundabouts the queues will be twice as long as when motorists were allowed to use their own common sense at a junction.
No doubt like all other traffic lighted roundabouts the queues will be twice as long as when motorists were allowed to use their own common sense at a junction. Pete Sakes
  • Score: 0

9:15pm Sun 20 Jul 14

ceddesfeld says...

Letting motorists use common-sense isn't DCC's style - it can't exercise Control in that case. It won't use part-time lights because a) people might get 'confused' when they don't operate, i.e. be forced to use common sense, and b) the poor darlings can't get the on/off technology to function with any degree of reliability, so the default position of 24/7 operation is employed instead. 'Reduce congestion for motorists; is just a lie in the context of a full day; OK, some arms of the junction will function a bit better at peak time, but the overall impact wiill be slower journeys for the vast majority of motorists while the council appeases the all-powerful (in their eyes) cycling lobby.

Crazy days indeed, with plenty more where this came from.
Letting motorists use common-sense isn't DCC's style - it can't exercise Control in that case. It won't use part-time lights because a) people might get 'confused' when they don't operate, i.e. be forced to use common sense, and b) the poor darlings can't get the on/off technology to function with any degree of reliability, so the default position of 24/7 operation is employed instead. 'Reduce congestion for motorists; is just a lie in the context of a full day; OK, some arms of the junction will function a bit better at peak time, but the overall impact wiill be slower journeys for the vast majority of motorists while the council appeases the all-powerful (in their eyes) cycling lobby. Crazy days indeed, with plenty more where this came from. ceddesfeld
  • Score: 2

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