Major works to upgrade junctions on a busy County Durham road will begin next week.

Durham County Council have confirmed work will begin on the A167/A689 Rushyford roundabout in Newton Aycliffe on Monday (April 22).

This will be followed by work on the Central Avenue and Ricknall Lane junctions which will begin in May.

The council have said the A167 scheme will provide additional road capacity in the area, unlocking the potential to develop up to 1,400 new homes on the Low Copelaw site to the east of the town.

Councillor Elizabeth Scott said: “Low Copelaw is identified as a strategic housing site in the County Durham Plan and these upgrades to the nearby highways network will provide access to the site itself while ensuring that highways capacity keeps pace with housing growth in the area.

“We’ve secured £7 million from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) for the scheme, and the timescales attached to the funding mean we have to deliver the three sets of improvements together in parallel rather than in separate phases.

“Though these upgrades will ensure we can keep traffic moving in the long term, there will inevitably be some disruption in the short term. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience and thank people for their patience while we deliver this important project.”

All approaches to the A167/A689 Rushyford roundabout will be widened to three lanes, and improvements will be made to the roundabout’s layout. There will also be new line markings.

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The work at the A167’s Central Avenue junction will introduce a new link road allowing access to the future housing site, as well as a traffic light-controlled entry and improved pedestrian crossings.

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

The scheme, scheduled to be complete late this year, also includes plans to plant nearly 1,000 trees, as well as hundreds of shrubs, and lengths of hedge.