Green light for £750k bus route improvement in Hartlepool

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MAJOR £750,000 plans to revamp a main road in Hartlepool have been agreed by councillors.

Hartlepool Borough Council will transform the A179 Powlett Road in a bid to ease congestion in a scheme funded through the Tees Valley Bus Network Improvement scheme, which is a five-year project to provide major infrastructure improvements along key bus corridors.

In order to help alleviate congestion, measures include the addition of an extra lane on the westbound carriageway, which will be carried out by widening the road and by reducing the width of the verge and footway in several locations.

Plans were agreed by the council’s neighbourhood services committee, which is chaired by Labour councillor Peter Jackson.

The scheme was first discussed in November, with the aim of reducing traffic congestion between Raby Road and Lancaster Road. Officers say this can be particularly bad during the evening peak hour, when traffic can back up from the Milbank Road traffic signals to beyond the Marina Way roundabout.

Powlett Road is served by the Stagecoach Service 4 route.

Given concerns about the changes by residents at the November meeting, it was agreed to hold a public consultation event and officers moved to address those concerns with various improvements.

Main concerns were the risk of damage to property by vehicles on the eastern section, the location of the westbound bus stop and the loss of trees and shrubs on the western section.

But Alastair Smith, assistant director of neighbourhoods, said they have been addressed with the option for bollards to be installed outside of people’s properties if they want, the removal of the proposed lay-by for the bus stop from the scheme, and as a result there being no need for trees and shrubs to be removed.

Coun Jackson said: “The officers have done a fantastic job in taking our concerns and those of the residents and working on them.”

Transport officers hope to be able to start the work before the end of this financial year, and construction work is expected to take around two to three months.

A number of schemes have already been carried out under the scheme including the Catcote Road and Oxford Road junction, Burn Valley roundabout and York Road.

If the scheme wasn’t approved, funding would have gone back to the Tees Valley pot.