A bid for Government funding to ease congestion on the A689 from Wynyard to Hartlepool has been launched.
The bid, for up to £26.75million, is for improvements to roundabouts and junctions on the A689 as well as new footbridges over the A689 at Wynyard and the A19 at Wolviston Services.
It also includes a pedestrian crossing on the A689 at The Meadows roundabout, new footpath and cycle links to Wolviston, Billingham and Hartlepool, and electronic signs that warn motorists of incidents.
The bid has been put together by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and Hartlepool Borough Council on behalf of the Tees Valley Combined Authority.
Councillor Mike Smith, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “The A689 corridor provides a busy strategic link between the A19 and A1(M).
“This particular stretch serves a thriving business park and areas where significant housebuilding is expected in future years, so it’s very important the infrastructure is upgraded in step with these growth expectations.
“Some of the improvements we’re bidding for – such as the footbridge at Wynyard – are already planned and a successful bid would enable many of them to be delivered ahead of schedule, while others are additional improvements over and above what’s already planned.”
Councillor John Tennant, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee, added: “The A689 provides an excellent strategic link between Hartlepool, the A19 and further afield.
“Improving roundabouts and junctions on this key route, as well as building new footbridges, will help improve road safety and also relieve a number of transport pinch points.
“If this bid is successful, we believe the proposed improvements would be welcomed by residents and also provide significant opportunities for further economic growth.”
The bid, to the Department for Transport’s National Roads Fund, has backing from Tees Valley Combined Authority and Transport for the North.
Peter Molyneux, Major Roads Director at Transport for the North, said: “As part of our pan-Northern bid for £700million of investment in our roads, we’re pleased to put forward for funding the A689 corridor Improvements Scheme.
“Investment in this economically important road will have a significant improvement on journey times and capacity, benefiting people as they move around locally and further afield.
“We know from working closely with authorities across the North East how essential this scheme is to residents and businesses and with this bid we’re making the case to the Department for Transport that it should be funded as part of a pipeline of investment in the North’s transport infrastructure.”