Work set to start on £6.5m improvements to key junction

Seaton Burn roundabout.
Seaton Burn roundabout.

A multi-million pound scheme is due to start on reducing congestion at a key road junction.

The Highways Agency is planning on spending £6.5m to improve the A1/A19 Seaton Burn interchange to cut congestion and reduce journey times.

And officials say that the work, due to start on June 2 and be completed by December, could boost local projects which would have the potential to create 17,300 jobs and 16,300 homes by 2020.

It is one of two ‘pinch point’ schemes earmarked for Tyne and Wear – the other being Hylton Grange in Sunderland – that aim to improve journeys for drivers.

Highways Agency assistant project manager Steve Bishop said: “These two schemes are great news for drivers in the region. Once complete the schemes will cut congestion and reduce journey times.

“This will improve safety for drivers using these junctions and also have a positive impact on the local economy.”

Work on the Seaton Burn junction will see improvements to the northbound and southbound exit slip roads from the A1; widening the Fisher Lane roundabout and the A1068, A1 and A19 approaches; installing traffic signals on the B1318 approach to the junction; improving pedestrian and cyclist facilities; providing a new concrete barrier on the A1; and installing new traffic signs, signals, lighting, retaining walls and landscaping.

Work will take place during the day and night and there will be narrow lanes in place on the northbound A1 and A19 carriageways.

During the work there will be night time lane closures, full closures and speed restrictions.

It will also be necessary to close Fisher Lane roundabout for four weekends, during which time signed diversion routes will be put in place.

North Tyneside Council chief executive Patrick Melia said: “The improvement works will make a difference to the residents of North Tyneside and to the rest of the region – helping to reduce congestion, improve road safety and ensuring we have a good road network to serve the borough – and the council welcomes the news.

“Inevitably, there will be some disruption and the council would ask that motorists take extra care and are patient with the Highway’s Agency as the improvement works are carried out.”

The schemes are part of a £317m Pinch Point improvement programme designed to boost local economies, reduce congestion and improve safety on the strategic road network in England.