A North East health trust is investing millions of pounds to improve the road infrastructure around a new emergency hospital.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is spending £3.8m to enhance traffic flows around the new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington, Northumberland.
Roadworks costing £1.3m will start at the Moor Farm roundabout next week and will be completed by November this year. Paul Brayson, project director for the building of the new hospital, said: “These schemes represent a very significant investment into the local road infrastructure as well as the local economy and have been designed to make the roads safer and more efficient for residents in the area.”
The works follow the first phase of traffic improvements in the area that were completed in East Cramlington earlier this year.
It includes the realignment of the southbound slip road off the A189 into East Cramlington to a new roundabout at the entrance to the new hospital site together with the installation of traffic lights and road improvements at the junction of Lamb Street and Front Street.
Northumbria Healthcare has invested £2.5m in these works, bringing the total investment in road works in the area to £3.8m.
The money is part of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s £200m investment in healthcare for the 500,000 people who live in North Tyneside and Northumberland.
The new hospital is expected to open in 2015 and will be the first dedicated emergency care facility with emergency care specialists working 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Specialists in a broad range of conditions will be on call through the night to treat patients referred to them from life-saving treatment.
Work on the new road layout will take place during the day between 8am and 4pm, and overnight between 8pm and 6am. During the day two lanes will remain open to traffic.
Lane closures and full closures will be required on the A19 eastbound and westbound approaches to the roundabout. Speed limits of 50mph will also be in place.
Shaun Cullumbine, Highways Agency project manager said: “This scheme is designed to increase the capacity at the junction in order to accommodate increased traffic flows associated with the new hospital facility. The work will reduce congestion and improve safety at Moor Farm Roundabout.
“During the work we advise road users to plan their journeys to avoid delays. For the safety of road users and road workers we encourage all drivers to drive carefully along the diversion route, keeping within the speed limit, and concentrating on the road ahead.”
During the closures signed diversion routes will be in place. Local traffic wishing to travel eastbound on the A19 using Moor Farm Roundabout will be diverted to / from the A19 via the Dudley Lane junction on the A1171 to Moor Farm.