Roads Minister Robert Goodwill has announced the preferred option for the A19/A184 Testos junction improvement scheme, south of Newcastle.
It involves raising the A19 carriageway and carrying it over the existing roundabout, slightly to the west, via two bridges. In addition, two connector roads will be needed between Testos junction and the next junction to the south (Downhill Lane).
Robert Goodwill (pictured) said: “The A19 corridor is of vital importance to the north east and is part of the government’s £24 billion investment in our road network over this parliament and the next. Once completed, the new junction will improve both safety and journey times in the area, contributing towards this country’s long term economic plan.”
Highways Agency project manager, Adam Clelland, added: “We are delighted that the minister has confirmed the preferred route for this scheme taking it one step closer to starting work.
“We offered three options to the public and we are confident that the preferred option is the most suited to proceed, resulting in improved journeys for road users.”
The announcement will allow the land in the vicinity of the scheme to be protected from other development.
Further public and stakeholder consultation will take place to help design the preferred route (Option A) in more detail and identify the land that will need to be acquired to construct the scheme. This will look at drainage requirements, pedestrian, cyclist and equestrian access and how to reduce the impact on the environment.
A draft development consent order (planning application) and draft environmental statement will then be published, before a further round of consultation giving people another opportunity to comment on the more detailed proposals. Following this, the Highways Agency will submit its final development consent order to the Planning Inspectorate who will consider all comments before coming to a decision.
Subject to successful approval, and continued value for money, construction work on the scheme could start by the end of the 2016/17 financial year.