THREE central reservation gaps will be sealed off on the A19 next week as part of a scheme to improve road safety.

Work to close the gaps at Elwick north, Elwick south and Dalton Piercy, all near Hartlepool, begins on Tuesday and will be carried out by Seymour Civil Engineering on behalf of the council.

U-turns at 11 other central reservation gaps will also be prohibited.

Councillor John Tennant, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee, said: “We’re working hard with colleagues at Highways England to deliver important safety improvements on the A19.

“We do appreciate these improvements may affect some residents but believe the obvious safety benefits are vitally important for all.

“Alongside these improvement works we are also looking to create a bypass which will provide a much needed additional route into Hartlepool and a far safer crossing point over the A19.

“The new road will also substantially reduce traffic through Elwick and help to improve road safety.”

The A19 safety improvement work will be carried out between the A689 at Wynyard and the A179 at Sheraton overnight between 8pm and 5.30am for around two months.

Overnight one lane will remain open to traffic and there will be a temporary 50mph speed restriction in place for the safety of drivers and workers. The layby to the south of Coal Lane will also be closed for the duration.