£64m investment plan for North East roads will provide jobs boost

Hundreds of jobs will be created as part of a £64m investment to improve the region’s roads, it has been announced

The landslip on the main road into Rothbury
The landslip on the main road into Rothbury

Hundreds of jobs will be created as part of a £64m investment to improve the region’s roads, it has been announced.

Twelve schemes will start across the North East next year, including upgrading the A1 between Lobley Hill the A184 Askew Road, which is the nation’s third most congested route.

More than 300 construction jobs will be created as part of the major infrastructure improvement, which was confirmed by transport minister Robert Goodwill yesterday.

Roads up for improvement include repairing a 300m length of the B6344 near Rothbury, Northumberland, that has been closed due to a landslip and reducing congestion at the A19 / A174 junction.

Improvements are also due to be made to the A1 at Seaton Burn and A19 Fisher Lane roundabout to reduce peak hour congestion.

Mr Goodwill said: “Roads are the lifeblood that keeps our economy going – they create jobs and help get products to markets.

“This government is committed to delivering the modern infrastructure we need to compete in the global race, investing across the board to cut congestion and reduce journey times in roads, rail and local transport.

“We are already seeing massive improvements being made to our major roads and motorways. In 2014 the public will see even greater improvements right across the country.”

And funding was confirmed for schemes previously announced including the Testo’s flyover in which the junction connecting the A19 and A1058 will be improved.

There will be increased capacity on the East Coast Main Line and local services in Newcastle, with new trains introduced for inter-city services, and 31 schools will be rebuilt in the North East.

Another £600m will be distributed directly to businesses nationwide through the regional growth fund between 2015 and 2016, to create private sector jobs. This is on top of the £2.4bn already allocated nationally.

North East Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive James Ramsbotham said: “The A19 upgrade at the Testo’s roundabout will aid access to Port of Tyne, Nissan and Tyne Tunnel II, while addressing congestion at the Silverlink junction will eradicate current bottleneck issues and ease access to North Tyneside’s business parks and firms along the North Bank of the Tyne.”

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