Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Relief from Roundabout? COUNCIL PLANS TO IMPROVE ACCESS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Relief from Roundabout? COUNCIL PLANS TO IMPROVE ACCESS

Article excerpt

Byline: SONIA SHARMA Reporter sonia.sharma@trinitymirror.com

TRADERS affected by the Heworth roundabout roadworks are hoping for some relief as council bosses make efforts to improve access to their area.

Businesses in Pelaw say their takings have dropped significantly since work on the Felling Bypass in Gateshead started at the end of January.

When the project began, the A185 Shields Road through Pelaw and the B1426 turn-off into Heworth were closed, and long diversions were put in place.

As a result, a number of shops, including those off Shields Road, say they have seen a major drop in passing trade.

One independent store reported a 90% decrease in sales within just a fortnight and others feared they may be forced to shut up shop before the work completed in the summer.

However Gateshead Council is now planning to re-open a slip road from the eastbound carriageway on the Felling bypass into Pelaw at the end of March.

Re-opening turn in should some people working The authority Anneliese hopes the move will help to bring back passing trade for businesses and also aid those who are having to take a long detour to get into the estate.

The council further says the work at the roundabout is progressing better than expected.

The Felling Bypass was reduced to a single lane in each direction while traffic islands were removed and contraflow crossovers were constructed. The intention was then to return the road to dual carriageway in each direction once the main work - involving the complete removal of the road - began.

However, the effect of the single carriageways on traffic has been less severe than expected, so the council has decided to keep the single carriageways. This will allow a larger area to be worked on and remove the need for frequent lane changes - all of which should help speed up the repair work.

Anneliese Hutchinson, service director for development, transport and public protection, said: "We regularly assess the works progress and we are always looking for ways to minimise disruption and congestion.

"We think this change in the way we work could help us save a month, though there is a lot still that could affect progress, not least the weather. …

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