Improvement work is due for well-used road

The road at Ratcheugh between Longhoughton and Denwick.
The road at Ratcheugh between Longhoughton and Denwick.

Work to improve the state of a road – heavily criticised for its sub-standard condition – is due to take place this year.

And it comes as parish councillors are appealing for the same stretch to be reclassified and a long-term maintenance programme put in place.

Northumberland County Council has said that repairs will be carried out along the C80 – the road between Denwick and Longhoughton – in two phases.

In July, the authority will be working on the carriageway and edges of the road in the vicinity of Longhoughton Quarry, followed by resurfacing of that section.

This is being partly funded by the quarry, in recognition of the impact that its operations have on the road.

The work is scheduled to take three weeks (two weeks for the repairs and a week for resurfacing).

The section of road will be closed during working time, with local diversions in place, however access to local properties will be maintained.

Then, in September, there will be surface dressing of the whole stretch of road, from Denwick to Longhoughton, as part of the county council’s annual Local Transport Plan.

The road’s poor state has been a source of much complaint, especially from Longhoughton Parish Council.

Despite the planned repairs, the parish council has called for the C80 to be upgraded to a B-class road.

Newly-elected chairman Coun Eleanor Phillips said: “This road is the primary roadlink between Longhoughton – and beyond to the coastline – and Alnwick, but it is in a very poor condition – it is cracking at the edges and has a number of potholes due to the volume of HGVs and cars using the road.

“The parish council believes that this road needs to have class-B status and a maintenance programme initiated for its repair going forward in the future. It would support economic growth in the rural area of Longhoughton, promote equality of opportunity for residents and contribute to better security and road safety. It is a community priority.”

In reply, the county council said: “We are currently consulting on the functional hierarchy of roads in the county and the parish council’s comments will be taken into account as part of this.

“This functional hierarchy takes into account the relative importance of different types of road taking account of their expected use, resilience and economic and social factors and this is what is used in the maintenance regime rather than the A, B, C and U-road classifications which tend to be historic and for which there is a Department for Transport protocol in relation to formal reclassification.

“We hope that the parish council will be pleased with the forthcoming improvements. However, if they have further concerns, we will be happy to discuss these.”