A69 ROAD CHANGES
Notes from Public meeting held on 10th January 2019 in Newton & Bywell Community Hall
Present: ~45 members of the public including all CouncilMembers, Nicola Allan (Barrister) and County Cllrs Quinn and Dale.
At the public meeting, the Chairman of the Council introduced the Barrister Nicola Allan to residents. Nicola has been engaged by the Parish Council for some initial advice on how to proceed and to do some initial research. Nicola outlined her credentials for working with the Council and that she had lived in Newton. She then summarised the conversation she had had with Mark Ramsden of Highways England (HE), who is the product delivery manager for schemes.
Some of the points that were agreed included that there were shortcomings in the consultation process. Because of the objections regarding Shaw House, the roundabout scheme will currently go ahead in 2 stages with the Hexham one being done first. Obviously, this involves more costs such as moving the earth twice and storing it. A more in- depth consultation and discussions with the residents will be held before coming up with options for the Corbridge (Styford) roundabout – and the junction at Shaw House. This could continue until the Public Inquiry (up to a year hence); the scheme as currently envisaged could be withdrawn and an alternative that is acceptable to the local community could be put in place. HE isstill looking at the closer of the gaps from a safety point of view. Alternative proposals and more delays , will cost time and money to HE, and change the cost benefit analysis, which could eventually cause HE to abandon the scheme.
Nicola emphasised that many of the residents in the wider parish may not realise the impact that the re-routing of traffic onto the Country roads would have going past their properties. Also, anyone who has not yet objected has time to do so. It was noted that there are NO proposals to improve the West Lane – to Brocksbushes – despite it being integral to HE’s plans. The County Council appear to have been taken unawares by the proposals as well.
No detailed figures for traffic movements or the level of congestion perceived at Styford. have yet been supplied to the Parish Council. Land will have to be purchased for slip roads by voluntary agreement or compulsory purchase, which also costs time and money to HE.
It was commented on that the pot of money under which the scheme is being proposed is specifically for relieving congestion and it was agreed by all that at the Corbridge roundabout particularly, there are no lengthy congestion waits of any significant duration. The fact that HE seem to believe that pedestrians can ‘safely’ cross the whole of the A69 whilstcars cannot is noted too.
There is an opportunity to influence HE’s thoughts and to input to the Public Inquiry at the very least. The PC will continue to support the residents, but it was suggested that a group of volunteers get together to lead the campaign with the Council. 8 of the residents at the meeting signed up and thePC will consider the way forward at their next meeting on Wednesday 16th.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP FIGHT YOUR BATTLE PLEASE LET PETER STODDART KNOW ON Stoddyp@aol.com
Update on A69 December 2018
Those of you who sent in objections will know already that there is to be a public inquiry into the road changes at Corbridge and Hexham roundabouts and Shaw House. As yet we have no idea of dates, format or location, but will let you know as soon as we do.
In the meantime the Parish Council is investigating the funding of a barrister to represent them. The Parish Council remit will be to fight against the central reservation closures at Shaw House. Whilst we may disagree with the complete scheme we feel we must concentrate on the one element that affects our Parish and in particular Newton village.
(Parish Council Chairman)
A69 SHAW HOUSE CHANGES
UPDATE - October 2018
Thank you for the great turn out last Friday to the Public Meeting with Highways England, and thank you for all the reasonable comments made in a constructive manner. I feel we gave them a lot to think about but only time will tell if they are prepared to make any changes. We do know that they have arranged to meet with Northumberland County Council so perhaps there will be some progress on the proposals for the West Lane.
In the meantime we still need to put pressure on for a public enquiry, just in case Highways England still want to go ahead. We need each and every one of you to write in.
If you wrote to either Highways England or the Department of Transport before September 28th that will not count.
We need you to write to the Department of Transport before 9th November at
Secretary of State for Transport
National Transport Casework Team
Newcastle Business Park
Newcastle upon Tyne
Or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Your letter should be headed “The A69 Trunk Road (Styford) Order 20..”
and should describe your objections with reasons.
And then what happens?
You should then receive an acknowledgement from the DfT stating they will pass on your objection to Highways England.
Highways England may then reply to you describing how they will mitigate your objection and asking if they have done enough to cause you to withdraw your objection. You can answer yes or no.
At the end of the consultation period if there are enough objections still outstanding the DfT will decide if a public enquiry is to be called and we will be able to have our say again. The Parish Council is preparing for this in terms of legal support but you as individuals will have your say.
BUT to achieve the public enquiry we do need YOU to write in and to encourage others to do so as well. The close off date is 9th November to get your objection in but please do it sooner rather than later.
(Parish Council Chairman)
Latest News - Newcastle Chronicle Live August 2018
The journey could be about to get a lot smoother for drivers on the A69.
According to plans revealed by Highways England, motorists will be able to skip two roundabouts on the busy route between Newcastle and Carlisle.
The changes should speed up travel times after creating 18 miles of uninterrupted dual carriageway.
At the Bridge End junction for Hexham the upgraded road will run under the turn off.
While at Styford - next to Brockbushes farm shop and tearoom - the dual carriageway will fly over the roundabout for the A68 and Corbridge.
The £30m improvement is set to be ready by early 2020.
Highways England project manager Russell Mclean said: “The A69 is an important route between Newcastle and Carlisle which often sees delays at these two junctions.
“This £30m investment will mean drivers will be able to drive the 18 miles between Hexham and Newcastle without stopping at any junctions, improving journeys for drivers and reducing congestion.”
Government funding for the upgrade was confirmed in March 2017.
The money comes from a dedicated £220m pot Highways England schemes aimed at reducing congestion.
Drivers will see work to clear away greenery and move utility cables start later this year.
The main construction is due to begin in March 2019 and is expected to be finished by March 2020.
Both junctions will be built at the same time, incorporating new bridges as well as upgrading the existing roundabouts.
Material removed from the Bridge End underpass can be used on the Styford overbridge.
Two public drop-in events will be held next month for local communities to find out more about the plans.
These will be at Newton and Bywell Community Hall in Newton from 9am to 7pm on August 14 and at Acomb Village Hall in Acomb between 9am and 7pm on August 15.