1. ITV Report

Commuters urged to take the bus during roadworks

People are being encourage to take the bus during road closures Photo:
See where the roadworks are

Newcastle City Council is encouraging people to take the bus during the Killingworth Road closures.

£10 weekly offers and extra bus lanes to prioritise public transport through key junctions are a number of the ways that the council is helping to reduce congestion on the network during the closure to a busy commuter route in the north of the city.

The A189 Killingworth Road was closed by Newcastle City Council on 20 July to through traffic as part of a £13.5m Metro bridge renewal and road-widening project with Nexus on a well-known pinch point on the network. The closure will be in place until Spring 2018.

To keep the network moving during this period the council worked closely with neighbouring local authorities, Nexus, bus operators and other partners including Highways England to help reduce congestion.

A key part of the plan was to introduce two-way bus lanes on Four Lane Ends and a bus lane on the Brunton Overbridge in Gosforth.

The council worked out new diversion routes with bus companies as well as changes to the network and additional buses to help public transport run to timetable during the closure.

This is a major bridge renewal and highway improvement scheme that will improve connectivity to and from Newcastle.

With the road needing to be closed for such a long time, it’s crucial that we have robust plans in place to ensure the highways network copes with the increased demand during the closure and also caters for people travelling to or through the area using all forms of transport.

Bus lanes help us manage the network and ensure that large volumes of people will get to work on time. Bus operators are fully supportive of the plans and have offered pricing incentives to encourage more people to use bus services during the closure to help reduce the number of vehicles on the network, keeping everyone moving during these crucial works.

We recognise this work will be disruptive. The plans we’ve put in place will reduce the impact of the closure, but not mean there won’t be an impact – there will, and people should leave extra time for their journeys. However, people should consider public transport, walking or cycling if they can during the roadworks.

We are monitoring the network and ensuring we are able to make changes to our mitigation plans if required, with the goal of minimising disruption to the travelling public.

– Cllr Arlene Ainsley

Temporary bus lanes have been introduced on Benton Road on the north and southbound approaches to Four Lane Ends junction in North Tyneside to help buses run to time. They will play a significant role in ensuring the frequent replacement bus service (900) is prioritised through the Four Lane Ends junction when the Metro is disrupted for 34 days this month.

There will also be extra green time on traffic signals to improve traffic flow at peak periods, small changes to connecting junctions to cope with higher volumes of traffic and shutting Salters Bridge to ensure traffic doesn’t re-route through residential areas.

This work is part of Re-newcastle’s £60m of investment into Newcastle’s highways – the biggest investment in the city’s roads in over 30 years.