PLANS to improve safety on an accident blackspot and ease congestion on a key road by adding an extra route into Hartlepool are to go under consultation.

A consultation begins today on the proposed closure of three central reservation gaps on the A19 near Hartlepool to prevent cars crossing the busy dual carriageway to access junctions.

The plans could see residents of some areas having to travel to the next A19 junction to come back on themselves.

It is part of a wider safety review of the whole of the A19 after campaigners found that there are more than 300 accidents a year on the road.

Safety improvements are already underway on the Sheraton junction, where the A19 meets the A179.

Now Hartlepool Borough Council and Highways England want to make safety improvements on the A19 between the A689 Wolviston Junction and the A179 Sheraton Junction.

After the junction improvements are finished, the plan is to close central reservation gaps at the junctions for Dalton Piercy, Coal Lane/Elwick Road and North Lane.

Another planned safety improvement is a U-turn ban on the A19 between the junctions of the A689 at Wolviston and the A179.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “We’re working hard with colleagues at Highways England to deliver important safety improvements on the A19.

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

“We’re also looking to create a Western Growth Corridor which will provide a further route into Hartlepool and provide a safer route across the A19.

“The new road will also substantially reduce traffic through Elwick and help to improve road safety, but unfortunately we can’t commence any work on this route until planning permission is obtained and relevant land acquisitions completed.”

Ben Dobson, from Highways England, said: “The safety of drivers on the A19 is of the highest importance to us and we’re working closely with Hartlepool Borough Council to deliver these improvements.

"This is part of our ongoing work to review the whole of the A19, including if any further gaps can be closed.

"Any proposals for significant change to the A19 will always consider the diverse needs of the communities who use this road.”

Anyone wanting to have their say on the proposed closure of the central reservation gaps at the junction for Dalton Piercy, Coal Lane / Elwick Road and North Lane is asked to email