Council’s spending on transport outlined

Money is allocated to continue looking at improving safety on the A697.
Money is allocated to continue looking at improving safety on the A697.
  • Countywide measures include 20mph zones outside schools
  • Crag End landslip at Rothbury gets a significant chunk of funding
  • Continued efforts to improve safety on A697

Almost £20million will be spent on maintaining and improving the highway and transport network in the county in 2015/16.

A number of projects in north Northumberland will be receiving funding as part of the £19.1million, which is split into eight categories.

The car-park extension at Alnmouth will receive �300,000.

The car-park extension at Alnmouth will receive �300,000.

Around £3million will be spent on minor improvements, with £2million for prinicpal road and footway maintenance and just under £4million for non-principal routes.

There is just under £2million in the surface-treatment programme with another £2.6million for general/structural refurbishment work, £2.2million in the structures programme, £3million for landslips, including £2.2million for Cragend, near Rothbury, and £300,000 to public right of way improvements.

A report and information on the minor improvements programme was presented to members at Monday night’s meeting of the north area committee.

The draft scheme includes an increased allocation for town centres, which will enable measures to be implemented that will make them more sustainable.

This will receive £700,000, while the Shared Space Initiative to provide more space for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport on ‘streets dominated by vehicles’ will get another £300,000.

In terms of safety, £75,000 is proposed to help improve safety on rural roads with a separate allocation to enable safety improvements on the A697.

It is also proposed to start a five-year programme to implement 20mph limits outside the county’s schools with a budget of £200,000 and there is also a smaller sum for the implementation of 20mph limits in other locations.

The bulk of the cash allocated to surface treatment (£1.4million) is to be determined, but work will take place on Main Street, Felton, and the B1339 at Howick.

Other road repairs are set to take place at Dunstan, Netherton Bank, Rennington bends, Thropton, Embleton Mill to Stamford, Alnwick, Wooler, Chillingham, Boulmer, Beal, Glororum and Rothbury to Weldon Bridge.

In terms of more major routes, money is allocated for three different sections of the A697.

In the structures programme, the B6345 at Felton is due to receive £46,000 for phase-one refurbishment.

There are also a wide range of projects within the minor improvements programme.

Ahead of the construction of the new high school in Alnwick, £10,000 has been allocated to look at pedestrian/cycle improvements including crossings on Wagonway Road and South Road and a cycle/footway to Shilbottle. It follows concerns about safe routes to the new school site at Greensfield for pupils from all over Alnwick and further afield.

There is another £10,000 to complete work on the cycle route from Alnmouth to Warkworth, which has also been the source of complaints.

Phase two of a scheme to provide a safe crossing point on a cycle route in Rothbury, which will see a pedestrian refuge and increased footway area installed, is allocated £95,000.

In terms of public transport, there is £300,000 for the recently-approved car-park extension at Alnmouth Station and £100,000 to progress plans for a new station at Belford.