Much-criticised rural road has been upgraded

A pothole on the road, pictured earlier this year.
A pothole on the road, pictured earlier this year.

A road which has been heavily criticised for its deteriorating state has been upgraded to a higher status, meaning it will be given greater priority when it comes to inspections and repairs.

Earlier this year, we reported how Longhoughton Parish Council was campaigning for the C80 – between the village and Denwick – to be reclassified and a long-term maintenance programme put in place.

The road’s poor state has been a source of much complaint over the years, from councillors and residents.

Now, Northumberland County Council has agreed to reclassify it as a secondary distributor road (SDR).

Reflecting on this positive news, the recent Boulmer, Howick and Longhoughton Community Newsletter states: ‘This follows a request from the parish council in view of Chancel Place (new housing development in Longhoughton) increasing the number of vehicles that use the road and it being a main highway for all the residents of Longhoughton Parish.

‘This is great news and follows a campaign that has been running for years.

‘It will mean that the road will be subject to monthly highway safety inspections (rather than quarterly, six-monthly or annual) and defects such as potholes will be made safe or repaired more speedily than similar defects on lower-category roads.’

The county council said: “During the recent review of the road hierarchy in Northumberland, it was determined that the current use of the C80 warrants it to be categorised as a SDR. This will result in it being inspected on a monthly basis. The council uses its own functional hierarchy so there is no current proposal to approach the Department for Transport on the reclassification of any roads within Northumberland.”

Earlier this year, the carriageway and edges of the road in the vicinity of Longhoughton Quarry were repaired/resurfaced.

The whole stretch of road, from Denwick to Longhoughton, is scheduled to be surface dressed, as part of the county council’s annual Local Transport Plan.