Saturday, 8 March 2008

Morpeth Northern ByPass

I went to the NCC exhibition on the Morpeth Northern ByPass in Morpeth library this morning. Apparently the principle of the bypass is decided and agreed, and the consultation was part of the preparation of a detailed bid to Government for funding. The outline scheme is already included in the regional 10 year list of transport proposals and this is the next stage.

Of course, with such a long process, you need to keep re-assessing the need. They are claiming that the scheme will take 18% of current traffic off Telford Bridge, but traffic growth is such that ten years later we’ll be back to pre-bypass levels. I need to check the height & weight restrictions on the A1 bridge over the Wansbeck too – we may still have large vehicles coming through the town. I’ve asked if the 2006 traffic survey analysis is available – watch this space.

And then there are a number of other implications to the scheme:
i) it is vital to plans to open up the English Partnerships-owned land at St George’s to further development. Proposals are for a total of 650-800 houses with some industry and shops.
ii) it is also pretty important to the development of industrial sites at Northgate and Fairmoor
iii) the line of the new road will almost certainly be the line of the inner boundary of the new Morpeth Green Belt
iv) preservation of the wildlife corridors along Cotting Burn, Kater Dene and How Burn are critical to maintaining the character of Morpeth town centre, river and parks. Wildlife affected will include red squirrels, deer and badgers
v) the new A1 junction could give improved access to Lancaster Park and Fulbeck for burglars from out of the area.

I’m fully expecting this to be an election issue in Morpeth North – so I’m keen to hear what people think.

No comments: