Traffic nightmare hitting Blyth businesses in the pocket

Traders say they are losing thousands of pounds a week due to a traffic nightmare in Blyth.

By David Sedgwick
Friday, 18th March 2022, 11:00 am
Updated Friday, 18th March 2022, 11:44 am
Traffic building up on Plessey Road, in Blyth, which is causing problems for businesses and residents.

Roadworks on Links Road, Waterloo Road and Renwick Road, as well as in the town centre near Bowes Street, is causing major traffic problems, which is resulting in a significant drop in trade.

Shad Saleem, who runs the best-one Plessey News and Gino’s Traditional Fish and Chips in Plessey Road, says trade in both establishments has dropped due to queues of traffic building up on the road, as a result of the roadworks and one-way system from Links Road.

He said: “Motorists cannot get in or cannot get parked, or can’t get out when leaving, so they are just avoiding the area.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Shad Saleem, of best-one Plessey News in Plessey Road, says trade is being affected by roadworks in the area and urged people to support local businesses.

"We’re losing thousands of pounds as a result. We’re getting hammered.

"We need people to continue to support us at this very difficult time. It’s affecting everyone along here.

"It’s going to have a big effect for another 16 weeks.

"There has been no support from Northumberland County Council.”

Other businesses in Blyth have announced they are closing for up to two days a week due to all the disruption affecting lost trade.

Labour councillors have now questioned where the relief road is that was promised in the Conservative manifesto.

Cllr Anna Watson said: “Blyth's councillors are getting regular comments and questions from constituents saying their journeys are being disrupted by the various road schemes going on in the town.

“The work at the top of Renwick Road and Waterloo Road is starting and we've been told that there will be traffic lights there for eight out of the 20 weeks of the programme.

“There's also the road closure at the links which is holding up traffic at busy times of the day and the road closure along Bowes Street

“Just getting into and out of Blyth can be problematic.

“On the doorstep I spoke to a number of people who told me they voted Tory this time because they promised a relief road to ease traffic congestion in the town.

“Where is this promised road? That would have made a huge difference for access, especially during these other works which are disruptive for local people.”

Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy also recognised the need for the relief road.

He said: “I would like the people to bear with us. We’re bringing so much investment in a short period of time.

"There is disruption but it’s for a bigger picture and we’re looking to deliver it as quickly as possible.

"We’re trying to make it as smooth and easy as possible.

"We’re in desperate need of the relief road. We’ve had the same three routes in and out of Blyth for decades.

"There has been years of underinvestment and we're turning that around now. We're having to think hard about how we can get that relief road in.”

A Northumberland County Council spokesperson said: "The Council remains committed to the delivery of a new relief road to help relieve congestion along key transport corridors, support increased uptake and reliability of sustainable modes of transport and the economic regeneration of the town.

"Work on the development of the business case for this major capital scheme is on-going and it is anticipated that an update will be released in the coming months."