ROADWORKS which have disrupted a village for more than six months are due to be temporarily lifted next week.
Work has been taking place to replace the Metro bridge structure at Monkseaton while also re-route main gas, electricity, telephone and water supplies to local homes.
And officials at Nexus, which has led the improvements, say that traffic lights at the roadworks are due to be lifted sometime next week – almost four weeks later than planned.
But they have warned the lights will need to be re-imposed in the future as the project is not complete.
Nexus director general Bernard Garner said: “We understand the inconvenience the work on the bridge has caused local people and I want to apologise for that.
“We are working with North Tyneside Council and utility companies to plan to reduce this as far as possible before we re-start this vital project.”
The news comes as councillors at North Tyneside Council are set to debate the situation following a complaint by local councillors.
Conservative councillors Michael McIntrye and George Partis say local traders are losing out as the roadworks are causing drivers, and passing trade, to avoid Front Street in Monkseaton.
In a motion due to be discussed at a full council meeting next week, they call on Nexus to compensate local traders for any loss of business due to the extended period of disruption.
Coun McIntyre said: “Residents and traders accepted that maintenance work has to be carried out and made allowances but the extra work that seems to be required should have been foreseen.
“The fact that there have been long periods when no work has been carried out on the bridge has simply added to people’s frustrations with the whole project and we need explanations as to why this work was not properly planned out and guaranteed commitments from Nexus as to when the work will be completed.”
Coun Partis added: “I have been approached by traders complaining about the loss of trade and I think it only right that Nexus should compensate business during this very extended period of disruption, we don’t want to see businesses close through no fault of their own.”
• Metro passengers and local residents are being invited to find out more about the ongoing works.
A drop-in event is taking place at Monkseaton Metro station on Thursday, July 28, for people to raise questions with staff from Metro and Nexus, including the surrounding modernisation work.
Mr Garner said: “The event at Monkseaton station is an opportunity to talk to Metro and Nexus staff face-to-face on any issues affecting them, including modernisation works.
“People can come along at any time between 11am and 3pm.
“We will hold a further event in the area when we approach the next stage of works on the bridge.”