A temporary one-way system is to be introduced on the B1329 Links Road, Blyth while work is carried out by the developer to introduce a new road access to the Link House Farm development at South Beach.
After much discussion of a range of options, a one-way system from the Links Road roundabout to the Mermaid car park entrance was felt the safest option and also one that would promote traffic flow and create the least congestion. The rest of the B1329 Links Road will remain open to two-way traffic.
From February 14, the one-way system will be in place between the roundabout and the Mermaid car park for north bound traffic, with south bound traffic following a signed diversion via Links Road, Ridley Avenue, Bridge Street, Waterloo Road, Renwick Road, Broadway and Rotary Way.
This system will also allow visitors to the Mermaid car park, Blyth Port and other locations along Links Road to reach their destination as normal, with their journey impacted on their return journey only.
The diversion is expected to be in place until May.
Northumberland County Councillor, John Riddle cabinet member for local services explained: “The Link House Farm commercial development will continue the regeneration of this area of Blyth and is a welcome enhancement to the beach area, which is one of the main gateway routes into the town.
“It does however require a new access to be formed which will require the developer to carry out significant works to this length of road which can only be carried out with the road restricted to one lane.
“In other locations this could be achieved with two-way temporary traffic lights. However, the work on Links Road is immediately next to the roundabout and therefore a simple two-way light system would immediately cause tail backs and stationary traffic on to the roundabout, which would be unsafe for traffic and block traffic movements. “
Two options were considered to safely carry out the works. Option A was to have all 4 legs of the roundabout under traffic light control, which would give long traffic delays on all approaches to this busy roundabout. Option B was to restrict Links Road to one-way over the section from the roundabout to the Mermaid car park entrance.
“The developer's proposals were carefully considered by the council's Streetwork’s team and taking account of all traffic issues it was decided that the least disruptive of these options for overall traffic was option B - the one-way system.”
Councillor Riddle added: “New developments and work on the highway inevitably cause some disruption which cannot be avoided. We thank people in advance for their patience whilst these important improvements supporting the regeneration of Blyth are carried out.
“We will be carefully monitoring the operation of the one-way system and diversion to ensure it is working effectively.”
Discussions have also been held with Arriva and they have agreed that any passengers wishing to travel southbound towards Newcastle will be able to catch the northbound bus into Blyth bus station and to continue their journey towards Newcastle at no extra cost to the usual charge.
During this time, works will also be being undertaken to improve pedestrian and cycling facilities at the Waterloo Road / Renwick Road junction. The external funding for these works is time limited and therefore they cannot be delayed.
This work will be carried out using narrowing of lanes so that traffic (including buses and HGVs) can continue to flow, although there will be some periods with off peak traffic lights in operation.
The county council is aware of concerns that have been raised about potential issues due to increased use of Plessey Road and Park Road during the works and this will be included in monitoring to see if any further measures are required. Wherever possible people are asked to use the signed diversion route.