Northumberland gears up for Blyth relief road
The county council has opened a statutory consultation period ahead of pushing for consent in early 2024 and a highway open for use in 2026.
The local community, businesses and other stakeholders are urged to contribute to the process, which includes drop-in sessions and an online consultation.
A banner project for Northumberland, the project was one of those talked up earlier this month by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as part of a the redistribution of HS2 investment across the regions.
The proposed scheme involves the construction of a new 4.5km dual carriageway and road widening of the existing single carriageway to dual carriageway along the length of the A1061.
In addition, NCC wants to construct a new single carriageway link between Chase Farm Drive and Ogle Drive.
The scheme is intended to reduce local congestion, reduce car and bus journey times, offer greater walking and cycling opportunities, improve air quality and support opportunities for future growth in the town, currently the focus of the Energising Blyth investment programme.
The relief road scheme will follow on from the Northumberland Line project currently under construction.
Cllr Wojciech Ploszaj, NCC’s cabinet member for supporting business and opportunities, said: “This is a critical project to fix current issues and future-proof transport in Blyth.
“It’s a very welcome and long-awaited project and along with the Northumberland Line, this will bring a significant positive impact to the community and the economy of Blyth.
“We want local people to be fully involved in the proposal and have the opportunity to have their say on the future of their town and see how our proposals may affect them.”
NCC said that the two main roads into Blyth, the A193 Cowpen Road and A1061 Laverock Hall Road are heavily trafficked with more than 20,000 vehicles a day on each road, and both suffer congestion during peak periods.
A Blyth transport appraisal was completed in 2015 and recommended several options to take forward to help relieve congestion. The report noted that longer term highway improvements would be required to add capacity to the network.
Several routes were investigated, and engagement took place in early 2019 to provide the community with details on all the route options. Public engagement in the summer of 2022 shared the route alignment in its preliminary form, a proposal that has since been tweaked.
The outline business case for the scheme, currently with the Department for Transport for review, has been updated to reflect the preferred option.