Vital upgrades to the A19 go on back burner
Oct 27 2010 by Adrian Pearson, The Journal
NO money will be handed over for A19 upgrades for at least five years as the Government slashes North East transport projects.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond revealed a list of projects to be either scrapped, halted or sent back to the drawing board yesterday as the fallout continues from the Government’s comprehensive spending review.
His announcement brought the axe down on a regional transport wishlist which would have seen more than £450m spent on upgrades, bridges and bypasses over the next decade.
The announcement confirmed work will stop on planned improvements for the A19’s Seaton Burn and Moor Farm roundabouts, while the vital Testo’s and Coast Road upgrades are delayed until at least 2015.
Business leaders have warned the route will now be unable to cope with extra traffic coming as a result of the opening of the new Tyne Tunnel.
Mr Hammond also ordered more work, and further delays, on plans for the Morpeth Northern bypass, and bus lane improvements across Tyne and Wear.
A new bridge over the River Wear also hangs in the balance.
It will have to fight for funding with more than 20 other schemes for cash from a £600m “development” pot set up by Mr Hammond.
Schemes that cut costs are more likely to win approval, with a final decision promised by the end of 2011 – while work would not begin until 2012-13.
Tyneside MPs Stephen Hepburn and Mary Glindon have secured a meeting with the Transport Secretary to discuss the delay.