PROPOSALS to redesign key junctions on one of Darlington’s busiest commuter routes to ease traffic congestion have been revealed. 

The plans would see the redesign of the existing mini roundabouts on the A68 in Cockerton and at the western end of Woodland Road, as well as the nearby roundabout linking Woodland Road with Carmel Road North and Staindrop Road.

They would be replaced with larger, conventional roundabouts that can handle more traffic.

The aim of the proposals is to improve traffic flow, reduce delays for all travellers, including bus services, and improve walking and cycling routes in the area. Pedestrian crossings in Cockerton will also be redesigned.

The scheme is part of a wider package of improvements to the A68 in the urban areas of Darlington, including the current works to create a dedicated cycle lane along Woodland Road, linking Darlington Memorial Hospital with the town centre via Outram Street.

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The Northern Echo: Existing layout of the joint roundabouts connecting Woodland Road, Carmel Road and Staindrop RoadExisting layout of the joint roundabouts connecting Woodland Road, Carmel Road and Staindrop Road

A second phase of cycle improvements at the Cockerton end of Woodland Road to complete the route are anticipated to begin this summer.

The plans for the three improved roundabouts are at proposal stage only and are subject to a funding bid. If a bid is successful in future, the planning and consultation work at this stage will allow work to begin quickly.

The proposals include the demolition of a council-owned property that sits alongside the Woodland Road roundabout. Discussions are underway with the tenant to find suitable alternative accommodation.

The Northern Echo: Existing layout of the roundabout in the centre of CockertonExisting layout of the roundabout in the centre of Cockerton

Councillor Andy Keir, cabinet member for local services, said: “These are ambitious proposals to improve three major junctions that often prove to be a bottleneck for traffic at busy times.

“These plans are part of a larger overall package of works, some of which is already underway, to substantially upgrade the A68 corridor through the west of the town, for travellers of all types.

“With a number of new housing and employment sites proposed or underway for this side of the town, schemes such as this support the strong economic growth we are seeing.

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“The reduction in congestion and improvements to cycling and walking infrastructure in this area will support some of our key aims to reduce our impact on the environment and support people to make healthier choices for their commute.

“We are keen to hear the thoughts of local residents and commuters who use this route. In particular we’d like to hear the thoughts of people who often use pedestrian crossing facilities in this area as to any improvements they would like to see.”

Consultation on the proposals for the redevelopment of the three roundabouts will close on February 11.

The Northern Echo: Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment at the centre of CockertonArtist impression of the proposed redevelopment at the centre of Cockerton


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