Councillor concerned slip road closure in Blyth Relief Road plans will cause traffic issues in Cramlington
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Northumberland County Council is formulating plans for the long-awaited Blyth Relief Road scheme to relieve pressure on the entry and exit routes to the town, which currently involves closing the slip road onto the A189 north of neighbouring Cramlington.
This would force Cramlington drivers heading to Newcastle or North Tyneside to either head south into the town or drive north to join the road south at Blyth.
Councillor Wayne Daley, who represents Cramlington North ward, said: “I am really quite annoyed. This is very clearly going to have a massive impact on the north of the town.
“About a quarter of the people in Cramlington live in the north and use that slip road to get to Newcastle and North Tyneside.
"We are going to have major traffic consequences in the town with a major impact on existing roads like Station Road and the B1505.
“The relief road needs to happen, but not at the expense of Cramlington.”
Cllr Daley was also unhappy Cramlington councillors had not been consulted on the plans. The Conservative councillor, who was previously the authority’s deputy leader, called on the council to hold a consultation event in Cramlington alongside those already planned for Blyth.
He added: “Residents in Cramlington can also have their say online and I would urge them to object.
“It is obviously brilliant that there’s a consultation in Blyth for the relief road, it needs to happen, but there is a major impact on Cramlington and nothing has been done to engage with Cramlington councillors on this.”
The council say the relief road will reduce local congestion, reduce car and bus journey times, offer greater walking and cycling opportunities, improve air quality and support opportunities for future growth in Blyth.
Launching the consultation in late October, Cllr Wojciech Ploszaj, cabinet member for business, said: “We want local people to be fully involved in the proposal and have the opportunity to have their say on the future of their town and see how our proposals may affect them.”
The public consultation period runs until December 11.
Responding to Cllr Daley, a spokesperson for the county council said: “As part of the Blyth Relief Road project it is proposed to close the southbound merge slip road at the A1061/A189 junction. This is primarily for safety reasons given the close proximity of the junction to the A192/A189 Three Horseshoes junction to the north.
“Under the proposed arrangements, traffic looking to travel southbound from Cramlington would instead join the A192 northbound from the A1061 and then join the A189 at the Three Horseshoes roundabout.
"This diverted route would add approximately 750 metres to a journey, and it is anticipated would add less than 1 minute to a driver’s journey time.
“No changes are proposed for northbound journeys along the A189.”
Furthermore, it was confirmed a consultation event will be held in Cramlington, with details set to be provided “as soon as possible.”