Mayor backs road plans

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PLANS for a road improvement scheme aimed at increasing traffic flow at a busy junction have been agreed by Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond.

Hartlepool Borough Council is looking to combat traffic hold ups at the junction of Catcote Road and Elwick Road in the town.

Work on the £95,000 project is expected to start in January next year to avoid ongoing road works in other areas of Hartlepool, including improvement work to the A179 Easington Road/Throston Grange Lane roundabout which is due to last a further five weeks.

The work, agreed by Mayor Drummond at a council meeting, will see Catcote Road widened to create a right turn lane for motorists travelling north to prevent traffic from building up behind vehicles waiting to turn into Elwick Road.

A similar scheme has been agreed for Elwick Road at the same junction for vehicles turning right onto Catcote Road.

Mayor Drummond said: “I have asked that the work does not clash with ongoing road works in Hartlepool.

“I have been assured that will be the case and work is expected to start in the new year.”

Funding for the plans is coming from the Tees Valley Bus Network Improvements project and officers say it will improve traffic flow on the road that is used by the Stagecoach service 3 bus.

Mayor Drummond rubber stamped the plans at a meeting of his regeneration and neighbourhoods portfolio.

A council report outlined that funding was available due to under spends on other schemes from the Tees Valley Bus Network Improvements project.

Officers said the Stagecoach service 3 experiences delays in both directions that the service runs, northbound on Catcote Road, and westbound on Elwick Road.

Alastair Smith, assistant director (transportation and engineering), said: “The scheme involves the widening of Catcote Road on its northbound approach to create a right turn lane. This will prevent traffic travelling straight ahead from being held up by vehicles waiting to turn right, giving much improved traffic flows through the junction.

“The junction will also be widened on the Elwick Road approach, which again will reduce delays experienced as a result of right turning traffic.

“A pedestrian island will be installed on the north side of the junction, to improve road safety and make crossing easier.”

The Tees Valley Bus Network Improvements project is funded jointly between the Department for Transport and Hartlepool Borough Council’s Local Transport Plan.

The scheme had already been approved in principle by the project board.