SIX-FIGURE plans to improve the flow of traffic around a busy roundabout on a main route in and out of Hartlepool have been approved.
Hartlepool Borough Council is to widen the roundabout at Easington Road and Throston Grange Lane to make it easier for two cars to drive round at the same time.
Pedestrian crossing points at the roundabout, which is next to the University Hospital of Hartlepool, will also be improved.
Transport chiefs say the roundabout is an odd shape, which makes it difficult for two cars to travel around the roundabout at certain points.
The £500,000 work, expected to start in September, will include the roundabout and kerb lines being relocated to improve two-lane use.
The pedestrian crossing points will also be moved away from the petrol station entrance, in Easington Road, and pedestrian crossing points added in Holdforth Road.
Improvements will also be made to the pedestrian crossing in Throston Grange Lane.
Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond approved the plans at a meeting of his regeneration and neighbourhoods portfolio.
Alastair Smith, the council’s assistant director transportation and engineering, said: “The scheme involves re-modelling of Throston Grange Lane/Easington Road roundabout and its approaches.
“The current roundabout is an odd shape, and prohibits two vehicles travelling around it side by side at certain points, due to the restricted width.
“The re-modelling scheme will enable this to take place, which will give increased capacity on all approaches, leading to much greater benefits to the Stagecoach Service 1 corridor, Arriva services which link to Durham and the collieries, and the Go North East X35 service.”
Mayor Drummond said he was happy with the scheme.
Ward councillors, residents, nearby businesses including the Merry Go Round pub and the Lidl store were all consulted but no concerns had been raised.
The scheme had already been approved in principle by the Tees Valley Bus Network Improvements project (TVBNI), which aims to improve the bus network across the region.
TVBNI will provide £325,000 of Department of Transport cash with the council adding the extra £175,000 from its local transport plan budget.