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End to Major Road Scheme

A major highways improvement scheme in Jarrow, South Tyneside, is due to be completed at the end of this week.

The Lindisfarne junction project, which started a year ago, will finish on schedule and on budget.

The £7.5m scheme has involved widening both Lindisfarne and John Reid Road roundabouts and most of the dual carriageway in between from two to three lanes in both directions.

The improvements aim to reduce accidents, ease congestion and improve traffic flows in the area. The project also included the installation of a large underground tank to alleviate the risk of flooding.

Councillor Allan West, Lead Member for Housing and Transport, said: "We're very pleased with how the project has gone and that we are finishing on schedule.

"We together with our contractors GallifordTry have tried hard to ensure that there has been minimal disruption to residents and motorists and we thank everyone for their patience over the last year.

"Now people will be able to start reaping the benefits of the work that has been done."

Signals at the John Reid Road roundabout will come back into operation and will be linked to lights on the Lindisfarne roundabout as well as a newly-installed toucan crossing between the two roundabouts to ensure efficiency.

The lights are designed to give fair access to all road users and the signal timings will be based on extensive traffic surveys to minimise delay.

Vehicles except buses will no longer be able to exit the Scotch Estate via Edinburgh road. The camera-enforced no exit has been introduced to improve safety and maximise traffic flow on the widened carriageway.

The scheme has also incorporated a reduction in the speed limit to 40mph on the eastbound approach to Lindisfarne to enhance safety on the route.

Cllr West added: "We've received feedback from several motorists to say that the current temporary arrangements - with the John Reid Road lights switched off - are working well.

"However, the current situation doesn't give a true picture for a variety of reasons, including that some road users have been using alternative routes during the works.

"Once complete, the junctions will become much busier once more and it will be then that the various crossing facilities for pedestrians, and traffic lights giving priority to side and slip roads, will be required. 

"Without the lights, the A194 would dominate traffic flow, making it extremely difficult to get out of the Low Simonside estate or side roads, and that compromises safety."

In peak periods of traffic flow, the signals will help balance queues and increase overall throughput at the roundabout. Signal timings will adapt to on-street traffic conditions as much as possible to minimise any delay.

Bob Gibbon, Managing Director of Galliford Try's Highways business, said: "We're proud of the way our teams have worked together to complete the scheme on schedule, within budget and to the high standards required.

"The Lindisfarne Project has been a worthy successor to our award winning coastal defence project at Littlehaven beach in South Shields. We hope for further opportunities to continue our relationship with South Tyneside Council and improve its assets."

Lindisfarne was the first of a wider programme of strategic transport investment projects that are proposed to help reduce congestion, reinforce the economic potential of the A19 corridor and establish a strategic gateway into South Tyneside.

The project received £6.1m from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as part of the North East Growth Deal from Government. The Local Growth Fund is supporting major capital investments to promote innovation, economic and skills infrastructure and sustainable transport across the North East LEP area.

The next scheme, at the Arches roundabout, secured planning permission last month and, subject to confirmation of Local Growth Fund funding, is due to start on site this Autumn.



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