Live updates

Disruption warning as more roadworks set to start in Newcastle

Cowgate roundabout, Blakelaw, Newcastle is one of the city's busiest. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Drivers are being warned of disruption on one of the busiest routes in and out of Newcastle as the council start a £4m project aimed at easing congestion.

Work will start on Monday on the Cowgate roundabout near Blakelaw and is not expected to be completed until Autumn 2015.

In an attempt to alleviate disruption to commuters, the council say, where possible, no lanes will be closed during peak hours. But this means the work will take longer to complete.

“Cowgate roundabout is one of the main routes into our city-centre and across the city, but this busy junction has many issues with congestion, safety and poor signalling that we want to put right which is why we are carrying out this work.

“We appreciate Cowgate is a heavily-used route and whilst there may be some delays while works are underway, we plan to minimise any disruption by only closing lanes during off-peak hours where possible.

"This means that the work will last longer, but we will be able to keep traffic moving during peak hours, reducing the level of disruption.

“When these works are complete it will be better, safer and easier for everyone to get around so we are asking the public to please bear with us during these key improvements.”

– Cllr Ged Bell, Newcastle City Council
Disruption is expected from Monday when work starts. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The major improvements planned are:

  • The mini roundabout and large roundabout will be made into one junction
  • Better and more joined-up signalling
  • Priority lanes for buses
  • Removing the subway and creating street crossings
  • Providing better access to shops and services
  • Creating cycle routes
  • Revising the slip road to access lower Cowgate and shops from A167.

It's the latest project in works and around Newcastle that have started in recent weeks and are affecting drivers.

Northumbrian Water is cleaning pipes underground to maintain the quality of our tap water. Work started this morning (Thursday 15 January) in the area close to Central Station, which has already had eighteen months of roadworks. The firm says it is doing all it can to keep traffic running smoothly.

MORE: Newcastle water pipes cleaning - find out affected routes

Work begins on controversial housing development

Work is starting on a controversial development in Gateshead, a decade after plans were first put forward.

Three and four-bedroomed homes will be built on land in Bensham and Saltwell. Hundreds of Tyneside flats were demolished to make way for the new properties.

The Saltwell and Bensham Residents Association had fought the plans, arguing that good homes were being knocked down.

But the leader of Gateshead Council said the new scheme offered more choice to families.

'Most people who want to move, perhaps from a Tyneside flat or a first home, they want to do it for good reason.

"I think the benefits offer more choice, a more interesting environment, more varied, and that's a good thing.

"It's a great area with lots of good facilities around. Now it's going to have an even wider choice of homes."

– Gateshead Council leader, Cllr Mick Henry


Barbour staff return to work

The dispute was over a proposed change to shift times. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Workers at Barbour are due to return to work as usual this morning.

They voted to accept a new offer from the famous clothing company, bringing an end to a planned four week strike. The dispute was over a proposed change to shift times.

Barbour is based in South Shields but the dispute involved staff at a distribution centre in Gateshead.

Barbour workers end strike

Workers at the Barbour distribution centre in Gateshead have ended their industrial action after seven days.

Staff were balloted earlier today and have accepted the deal proposed by the company.

The ballot was the culmination of eight months of negotiation in order to reach an agreement to introduce a two-shift system in the warehouse.

“We are delighted we have reached agreement. The industrial action has been difficult for everyone as we have historically enjoyed very good relations with our staff.

"It is essential we have the flexibility to manage the business to the good of our entire workforce and the acceptance of the new deal is indicative of the company’s determination to be fair in order to achieve this satisfactory outcome for all.”

– Brenda Readman-Bell, Finance and IT Director, J. Barbour & Sons Ltd


Barbour workers to be balloted on new proposals

Workers at Barbour's Gateshead walked out on planned four week strike Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Workers at the Barbour distribution centre in Gateshead are to be balloted on a renewed offer from the firm.

Previously the company wanted to make staff start their shifts at 6.30 am and finish at 11 pm, leading to concerns from workers about public transport and family commitments.

But ITV Tyne Tees has learned that the firm has now offered staff a renewed start time of 7 am with a finish of 10.30 pm.

The union Unite are presently in negotiation with the firm on the revised offer with staff expected to vote on it this afternoon.

More jobs go in Consett

More jobs are under threat in County Durham after it was announced that a milk bottle factory could close in Consett.

South African firm, Nampak Plastics, employs 50 people in the town. Now it's in consultation to pull out altogether.

It comes after job losses were announced in Consett just before Christmas - both at KP snacks and at a youth detention centre.

Frances Read reports.

Barbour workers to be balloted on new proposal

Workers walked out on planned four week strike Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Striking workers at the Barbour clothing warehouse in Gateshead will be balloted tomorrow on whether to accept a new proposal from the company.

About 70 workers are on a planned four week strike over proposed shift changes which they say would badly affect their family life.

Talks were held today involving the conciliation service ACAS and the company says progress has been made.

Load more updates