Work is complete on a £6.5million scheme to improve the road network in parts of rural Northumberland.
It comes after the county council successfully bid for a share of £75million from the Government’s national Highway Maintenance Challenge Fund after local authorities were challenged to put forward schemes which could make a real difference to road users.
It was the only local authority in the region, and one of only eight in the whole of England, to have secured successive back-to-back awards from the fund.
The £5million Department for Transport funding, combined with a further £1.5million from the council, allowed for improvements to almost 26km of highway along three key routes in the more rural parts of the county.
The improvements were carried out on the C200 road at Kielder and the C205 at Stonehaugh, along with the C172 between Whittingham and Netherton.
Paul Jones, director of local services at the county council, said: “The fact that the county council has been able to secure significant back to back awards from the DfT Challenge Fund against stiff competition from other local authorities across the whole of England, demonstrates the quality and professionalism of our staff.
“We put forward a very robust bid which highlighted the significant economic benefits of improving these particular roads, which despite being in some of the most rural parts of the county, are well used, being vital routes for the timber industry, quarrying and tourism sectors as well as the residents who use them each day.
“Due to their remote locations, teams have endured some extreme weather and we’re delighted the schemes have been completed to such a high standard.
“These roads are key links between many rural communities so it’s very important they are maintained and improved to keep these corners of our county open for business.”