One of the North East’s busiest road junctions is set to be improved under a multi-million pound scheme.
The A19 and A1058 Coast Road roundabout, at the Silverlink, in North Tyneside, suffers from severe congestion at peak times.
Around 30,000 vehicles a day use the Coast Road and 20,000 travel on the A19 daily.
The Highways Agency says there can be delays of more than four minutes per vehicle on the A19 southbound approach and the accident rate in the area is 50% higher than the national average.
Proposals to improve the junction were put together and a consultation was held between November 2009 and March 2010.
It was found there was an overall preference to lower the A19 under the roundabout in a cutting to provide a free-flowing link.
The agency is now asking people for their views and an eight-week public consultation has been launched. Under the project, two bridges will be constructed to carry traffic across the lowered A19 and a replacement bridge will be built to support the Coast Road across the junction.
In addition, new slip roads will be added. It is estimated the programme will cost between £116m and £167m. In May last year, the Road Minister announced that funding would be provided to develop the project.
It is hoped the agency will submit a development consent order to the planning inspectorate next October.
If it is approved, construction work is expected to start in spring 2016 and will complete in 2018.
Phil Jones, senior project manager, said: “With this scheme we are trying to reduce congestion, increase capacity and improve journey times.
“At peak times and at weekends, with people coming to the Silverlink Retail Park, there is an awful lot of traffic here.
“This project will improve journey times with the A19 traffic flowing through - drivers will not be restricted by the roundabout.”
MP Mary Glindon and North Tyneside Council have welcomed the proposals.
Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “I am delighted the consultation is underway for these improvements.
“The scheme would make a huge difference to residents of North Tyneside and also to the rest of the region - reducing congestion, improving road safety and ensuring we have a good road network to attract investment and jobs to the area.”
The plans are on show at Travelodge Silverlink Hotel today from 10am to 4pm.