Proposals will help boost Blyth

North East leaders have drawn up a £6billion transport revolution to help the region, with schemes earmarked for Blyth.

By David Sedgwick
Wednesday, 25th November 2020, 10:00 am
Blyth bus station.
Blyth bus station.

Local leaders have compiled a wish list of almost 300 schemes they believe will transform the region and could reverse decades of “chronic” underinvestment.

Among the proposals for the next ten years are a new bus station for Blyth, while in the next ten years, leaders hope to have a new relief road for Blyth and opened the Northumberland Line.

The government is being urged to stump up funding for the “ambitious but deliverable” project, which local politicians say would simply mean the North East finally getting its “fair share”.

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The proposals were discussed at the North East Joint Transport Committee, who agreed an eight-week consultation on the draft proposals.

Coun Martin Gannon, who chairs the Committee, said: “We have put forward a really clear, strategic, thought-out vision for the North East that would massively boost the economy and I think the government would listen to that.

“It is a long-term investment to get the economy moving again, so I think there is real reason to be optimistic.

“We are not being extravagant in asking for a programme of investment of £6 billion in our transport infrastructure… the chronic underinvestment needs to be addressed.”

Speaking after the meeting, Coun Richard Wearmouth, Cabinet Member responsible for economic regeneration at Northumberland County Council, said: "The council is firmly committed to the regeneration of Blyth, with a number of schemes in the pipeline to improve both the town centre and access in and out of the town as part of the ‘Energising Blyth’ town centre regeneration programme.

“We are expecting an announcement soon regarding our application to the Future High Streets Fund to transform the town centre.

"This includes a proposal to introduce new bus interchange facilities on Blyth Market Place replacing the ageing bus station.

"This will bring shoppers closer to the new and existing amenities in the town centre.

"There will also be a new 'Link' cycle route along Bridge Street linking the town centre with the Coast and Castles cycle route.

“These plans will be subject to ongoing planning and consultation phases with local residents once funding is confirmed.

“We have also secured Town Deal funding to deliver the Northern Gateway Phase One scheme will see improvements in the town centre completed by Summer 2021.

"This scheme will be starting in the New Year and will upgrade Bowes Street east and west, widening footpaths, adding cycleways and introducing one-way traffic and short stay and disabled parking along the street for ease of access to local businesses.

"We’re preparing a major Town Deal for Blyth which will be submitted to Government in January 2021 potentially providing a further £25m investment in the town.

"As part of this are continuing to push for support to deliver new strategic road and rail infrastructure to improve connectivity to the town.”