Work has started on a £1.5m scheme to improve a busy road.
The project, funded by the Local Enterprise Partnership, got underway on Monday to enhance the A191 Whitley Road and Front Street in Benton.
More than 15,000 vehicles use the A191 each day, with motorists experiencing delays of up to eight minutes during the peak morning period.
By 2030, the number of vehicles on the A191 is expected to have increased by up to 30 per cent, adding to existing delays.
The improvement scheme includes:
• Turning the A191’s separate junctions with Tyneview Park and Station Road into a combined junction.
• Creating two westbound lanes on the A191, from Tyneview Park to Coach Lane, by making better use of the existing road space.
• Linking traffic signals from the Four Lane Ends to Tyneview Park junctions, improving traffic flows.
• Providing enhanced pedestrian crossing facilities.
Coun John Harrison, cabinet member for transport, said: “Motorists who use this route will be aware of the delays they can encounter during the morning rush hour.”
“This project will improve journey times and make it easier for pedestrians to safely cross the road in the area of Tyneview Park and Station Road.
“We recognise the impact that road improvement schemes can have but are committed to keeping disruption to a minimum. We have set up a dedicated newsletter to keep people up to date with progress and would encourage anyone who wants to know more about the scheme to sign up to it.”
Initial work will be at the entrance to Tyneview Park and will require the narrowing of the westbound left-turn filter lane although access will still be available as normal.
It is likely there will be minor diversions for pedestrians on Whitley Road in this area as well as for those accessing Tyneview Park.
Changes to pedestrian routes will be signposted.
There will also be an off-peak lane restriction (9.30am to 3.30pm) eastbound on the A191 Whitley Road between the Carlton Road and Station Road junctions. This is to enable the installation of cables for the new traffic signals.