Improvement works to the North East high street, including a new one-way system, will begin at the end of the month.

Work will begin on a northbound one-way system at the southern section of Norton high street on February 26.

This project will also see work to extend pedestrianised areas and public realm.

The scheme aims to improve parking and traffic flow, while offering support to local businesses.

Councillor Nigel Cooke, cabinet member for regeneration and housing, said: "People want to be a part of Norton and its success but with that comes improvements that need to be made to give everyone the best experience in the town.

"We're following up from the wonderful additions to the duck pond and delivering another positive benefit to Norton for its residents, businesses and visitors.

"These plans are the next step in the journey for futureproofing Norton and ensuring it is fit for purpose for future generations and I am looking forward to seeing the finished result."

This comes after the council’s 'Let's Talk About Our Towns' public consultation in 2020 and communication with Norton's residents, businesses and visitors in 2021.

The council believes this will help enhance the town’s popularity and further growth for the area.

The completed scheme will also provide six additional car, taxi or loading spaces.

The council has appointed developer Esh Construction to carry out the work.

Work will take place in phases before its completion in Autumn.

The council has said it will be speaking with residents and businesses over the coming weeks to explain the impact of the project.

The new one-way road layout will be in place from March 3, while traffic management arrangements will be in place for the duration of the works.

The service road in front of Tesco Express and Greggs will have its traffic flow reversed, with entry from Leven Road and exiting onto Norton High Street to join the new one-way system.

The first phase will include highway and footpath works on the West Side of the High Street between Holly Street and the service road in front of Tesco Express and Greggs, and on the Eastern side of the High Street between the A139 and Holly Street.

Phase two will begin in spring and include highways and footpath works from Harland Place to Holly Street.

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The surfacing works will conclude in the summer.

Steven Garrigan, divisional director at Esh Construction, said: "We are delighted to be bringing our expertise to this project which will play an important role in improving Norton High Street for residents, businesses and visitors.

"Combined with the Stockton Waterfront project that we are also delivering, it is an exciting time as a North East contractor to be involved in the transformation programme underway across the borough."