Northumberland County Council is to object formally to planned roadworks on the A1 next month - which could see the road closed completely for more than a fortnight.
Highways England has announced plans to resurface four miles of the A1 between Wandylaw and Warenford from March 2, with the road being shut in both directions for the duration of the work. Highways England says that the impact of the full closure has been 'carefully considered' and will mean the work gets done much quicker.
However, the county council has expressed concern at the lack of any meaningful engagement and consultation carried out with residents and businesses by Highways England ahead of such potentially disruptive roadworks. Residents and businesses have also raised serious concerns.
Council leader Peter Jackson has now called for the work to be halted until ‘proper consultation’ has taken place with the local community.
County councillor Glen Sanderson, the county council’s cabinet member for environment and local services, said: "While the county council was made aware of Highways England's intention to undertake these major repair works, we strongly advised that, prior to such disruptive works being planned, detailed consultation and engagement with the local community must be undertaken by Highways England. This would ensure all the potential impacts for the local community could be identified and taken into consideration as part of the planning for the roadworks.
“Unfortunately, Highways England has left this essential local consultation activity until the last minute and appear to have already made decisions about the nature and timing of the works without any real consideration of what the impacts on local businesses and residents will be and how they can be avoided or reduced.
“This is not acceptable and the county council will be writing to Highways England to object to the proposed timing and nature of the planned roadworks on the A1, which we feel should not proceed until alternative options have been fully explored and proper consultation has been undertaken with the local community.”