Plans to replace congested Darlington roundabout with traffic light junction (From The Advertiser Series)
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Darlington Council unveils plans to replace Stonebridge roundabout with traffic light junction
A MAJOR overhaul of a congested town centre roundabout is being proposed in a £3.7m scheme.
Darlington Council has unveiled plans to replace the Stonebridge roundabout on the inner ring road near St Cuthbert’s Church and replace it with a traffic light junction.
The move comes as traffic is expected to increase with the forthcoming additions to the town centre of the Department for Education office building and adjacent cinema and leisure site.
At peak times, the roundabout – which was built in the 1970s - is already heavily congested which often leads to lengthy delays on all of the approaches.
It is hoped the overhaul will solve the current problem and ensure the road can cope with future traffic increases.
David Lyonette, the Council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “It is clear to most users that the roundabout is struggling to work at many times of the day and we need to consider something.
“The new developments coming to the town centre are exciting for Darlington and we must look to this proposal to help manage the growth in traffic and tackle the sporadic congestion along the ring road.
“The recent junction improvement works on North Road have been successful in helping to manage traffic and these proposals form part of a programme to manage traffic growth and congestion around the town.
“The plans will improve public transport access with improved punctuality and reliability for all traffic, especially buses and taxis.”
The proposals include additional lanes on approach and exits to junctions at the Stonebridge and Freemans Place roundabout, and the creation of new pedestrian crossings.
The council also wants to develop a more direct walkway between the town centre, Parkgate and the train station.
A linear park is also included in the plans as part of the council’s ambition to create a pleasant riverside walk along the banks of the Skerne and make it easier to improve flood defences.
The proposals form part of the Town Centre Fringe Regeneration scheme and will be funded from part of the £57m Department for Transport Tees Valley Bus Network Improvement Project, of which the council has secured £3.7m.
A public consultation is now underway and a drop in session is being held at the reception area of the Dolphin Centre reception area on Wednesday between 1.30pm and 6.30pm.
The plans can also be viewed at www.darlington.gov.uk/stonebridge and the consultation closes on October 11.
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