A CONTROVERSIAL sliproad near a busy roundabout is to be closed after safety fears.
The filter lane from Hartlepool’s Tesco Extra has been cordoned off by highways chiefs as part of an eight-week scheme to close it completely.
The sliproad which takes traffic from the Burn Road store onto the A689 close to a busy roundabout prompted safety concerns among residents and councillors.
It was created after a major extension to the town’s flagship Tesco store in 2008 and was intended to reduce congestion by diverting shoppers leaving the store away from Burn Road and straight on to Belle Vue Way.
But objectors said it was too close to the roundabout sparking fears of accidents.
Red and white cones blocking the sliproad appeared earlier this week.
Hartlepool Borough Council has confirmed the lane is to be permanently closed and a new third lane will be created on Burn Road at the roundabout for motorists turning left.
Putting Hartlepool First councillor Geoff Lilley, who labelled the road layout “dangerous” at the planing stage, welcomed the news.
Coun Lilley said: “I have never used that slip road because it is just an unsafe road. I thought it was a really bad design.
“It is about time it was closed off and it makes you wonder why on earth it was put in the first place.
“It is very difficult for drivers to be able to gauge traffic behind and in front of them at that spot. It is just a nightmare.”
A council spokesman said: “We can confirm that an eight week scheme is underway which involves the removal of the existing sliproad.
“We hope there will be minimal impact on traffic during the project and the two lanes leading up to Burn Road will remain open.
“The scheme aims to improve safety for all road users at this location and also involves the provision of an extra left hand turn lane at the roundabout.”