Road changes to improve safety and cut congestion in Ashington town centre are being introduced later this month.

The new road linking the A197 Parkway Roundabout to Woodhorn Road at Wetherspoons is due to open on February 25 and is part of the long-term scheme to improve the streets in Ashington town centre for pedestrians, reduce speeds, the potential for accidents and ease congestion.

As part of the road improvements the traffic lights at the major junctions are being removed and replaced with mini roundabouts with a mixture of crossings. A 20 mph zone is also being introduced across the town centre to improve road safety.

The new section will help traffic avoid passing through the Grand Corner and Asda junctions to ease current traffic queues on Lintonville Terrace.

The work, carried out on behalf of Advance Northumberland, will also will help attract retail and leisure expansion for the development of Portland Park.

Councillor Richard Wearmouth, Chair of Advance Northumberland, said: “These changes will mean more space for pedestrians, make the crossing of the roads easier, cut traffic speeds and reduce accidents.

“This work is all part of our exciting plans to reinvigorate Ashington town centre and a lot of activity is continuing behind the scenes to attract major leisure developers and retailers to the Portland Park site.

“'We’re also working closely with the newly formed Ashington Town Forum to help co-ordinate and plan a range of regeneration activity in the town.

“When fully completed the measures will reduce the long queues of traffic, provide wider footpaths and make crossing the roads easier and safer for everyone.

“We’re confident that once the changeover has had time to settle the traffic will flow more smoothly but at a lower and more even speed through the town centre.”

All the entry points into the 20mph zone will be clearly marked and signposted. The zone extends from the Station Road Grand Corner junction in each direction including Lintonville Terrace and Woodhorn Road and the new road.

The area of the 20mph zone will also be a restricted parking zone with “no loading” and “no parking” on the highway within the area, other than in designated bays. This is to give maximum visibility and to avoid obstruction.

When the new road opens the junction outside Wetherspoons is also changing. The old traffic lights are being replaced by a new mini roundabout and two traffic light controlled pedestrian crossings across Woodhorn Road and the new road.

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