'Finalising the design' - update provided on long-awaited Hartlepool bypass

Council chiefs have provided an update on negotiations over a long-awaited bypass.

Friday, 10th December 2021, 3:08 pm

As well as reducing “rat run” pressures on Elwick, the village’s £18.5m bypass is also expected to reduce congestion on the nearby A19 and on Hartlepool’s A179 and A689 roads.

Outline application for permission to build the road has been submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council with construction work estimated “to last for two years from spring 2022”.

Hartlepool Borough Council chiefs have now provided an update after being questioned on the scheme at the authority's latest neighbourhood services committee meeting.

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Bypass campaigners pictured in Elwick earlier this year are, front from left, Greatham Parish Council chair Brian Walker and Elwick Parish Council chair Hilary Thompson. Back, from left, fellow campaigners Keith Park, Minna Ireland, Lyn Noble and Barbara Irving.

Cllr Peter Jackson asked officers if there was any further developments with the bypass when discussing housing growth expected in the town.

Kieran Bostock, Hartlepool Borough Council’s assistant director for place management, said talks are still ongoing with organisations and neighbouring landowners.

He said: “It’s still very much a work in progress at the moment.

“We’re both working with National Highways, formerly Highways England. We’re still working with them on finalising the design.

The village's junction with the A19 will also be improved.

“It’s in for outline planning application at the moment. It’ll allow us to close off that process while at the same time we’re negotiating with the landowners.”

The outline environmental impact assessment, submitted by Scott Parkes from the council as part of the planning application, stated construction works are estimated “to last for two years from spring 2022”, subject to permission being granted.

The near one-mile long road will run from the locally named Devil’s Elbow, in Elwick Road, to the existing A19 junction at North Lane, which would also be improved.

Villagers near Hartlepool have repeatedly voiced concerns over traffic levels and speeds in their neighbourhoods.

Brian Walker, chair of the Hartlepool Rural Neighbourhood Plan group and of Greatham Parish Council, said earlier this year that the expected spring 2022 start date was a “major relief”.

He added: “It’s great to see some movement. It’s desperate for Elwick and Dalton Piercy to get the traffic away from the centre of the village.

“It’s a major relief, the traffic is just getting worse and worse and with more and more houses as Hartlepool expands, it’s just dreadful.”