Fears temporary roadworks will create accidents and major traffic issues

Angry residents have hit out at plans to create a temporary one-way system near Blyth, which will result in HGVs thundering past people’s front doors.

By David Sedgwick
Friday, 28th January 2022, 11:00 am
The stretch of B1329 which will be made one-way while roadworks are carried out.

As part of the construction of the new £4.5million retail and leisure development at South Beach, developers are proposing to close a lane on the B1329 road to allow a new junction to be created.

Work on the 125-metre stretch of road is anticipated to take place between February 14 and May 31, and two different one-way systems have been proposed while it takes place.

The first, between February 14 and March 28, will see a one-way system in place heading south west down the B1329 towards the roundabout junction with the A193 Links Road.

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More traffic, including HGVs, will be re-directed down Park Road and Ridley Avenue.

And between March 29 and April 28, the one-way system will head in the opposite direction into Blyth.

Developers say there will be no restrictions on entering the Mermaid Car Park to access facilities or businesses.

But the diversion in place will see traffic redirected along the A193, Plessey Road, Park Road or Wellington Street, back to the B1329.

Among those likely to be impacted are HGVs and articulated lorries going to and from the Port of Blyth, forcing them to drive down narrow residential streets while one retired HGV driver said the 90degree turns at Plessey Road and Park Road, plus Wellington Street and Ridley Avenue would be impossible to make.

More lorries will be seen on Wellington Street and Ridley Avenue as a result of the roadworks.

Angry residents and motorists have instead called for temporary traffic lights to be installed while the work is carried out.

They say the current proposals will lead to more accidents on Plessey Road plus increase travel times for those doing the school run or getting to and from work.

Calls have also been made for the entrance to the new retail development to be off the roundabout rather than have three junctions close to each other outside the Mermaid Car Park.

Daniel Carr, County Councillor for South Beach, said: “When I became aware of the planned one way system order, I was immediately aware that this would be negatively received by residents and businesses.

Fears have been raised there could be more accidents on Plessey Road, such as at the junctions with Park Road and Beaconsfield Street.

"Blyth has an ongoing issue with traffic at peak times during the day and a one way system would only exacerbate the issue, as it did last month with the closure of Newcastle Road in Newsham.

“After making residents aware via social media, the response was exactly as I expected and highlighted the need to ensure that construction companies make local residents aware of any and all impacts on their daily lives.”

He said Blyth’s county councillors are raising questions with the developers about the way they and local residents were informed, through a public traffic order, rather than through dialogue in person.

Cllr Carr added: “Alternatives are also being raised with the developers, regarding traffic impact and we expect to hear back soon on this matter.”

A spokesperson for Blagdon Estates, who are behind the new development, said: “The building contractor has been in regular dialogue with Northumberland County Council's Highways Department in regards to the traffic management measures which they have requested.

"The measures that come into effect from mid-February will be in place in order for Brims to comply with the Council's requirements and we hope that any inconvenience for road users will be kept to a minimum.”