A County Durham road network is set to undergo major improvement works which could lead to 1,400 new homes.

A Durham County Council spokesperson has said works along the A167 in Newton Aycliffe at its Central Avenue and Ricknall Lane junctions, and the A167/A689 Rushyford roundabout will deliver improvements to the area.

The scheme will provide additional road capacity in the area, allowing for the development of up to 1,400 new homes on the Low Copelaw site to the east of the town.

Work on the Central Avenue junction will see a new link road, which is planned to provide access to a future housing site, improved pedestrian crossings and traffic light-controlled entry system.

Vegetation and tree removal works are taking place near the Central Avenue junction before final utilities diversions start later this month.

This will be followed by construction work at the Central Avenue junction, and then by work starting at the Rushyford roundabout and Ricknall Lane junction.

Councillor Elizabeth Scott said: “Low Copelaw is identified as a strategic housing site in the County Durham Plan and it’s important that we approach the site’s development very carefully.

“These upgrades to the highways network will provide access to the site itself, while ensuring that highways capacity keeps pace with housing growth in the area.

“Though these kinds of improvements are needed to ensure we can keep traffic moving in the long-term, we very much appreciate that they will inevitably cause some disruption in the short-term.

“We apologise in advance for any inconvenience and also thank people for their patience while we deliver this important project.”

New traffic lights will be introduced at the A167’s Ricknall Lane junction, along with improved pedestrian crossing facilities.

Roads approaching the A167/A689 roundabout will be widened to three lanes, while the roundabout’s layout will be improved.

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Durham County Council has secured £7million from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to deliver the scheme. The project is expected to be complete later this year.

The council also plans to plant nearly 1,000 trees, hundreds of shrubs, and hedge as part of the scheme.

You can find dates and times for the roadworks here.