Throughabout conversion gets thumbs-up from drivers
MOTORISTS have responded positively to the start of work to convert the ‘throughabout’ junction on Haughton Road into a conventional roundabout.
Preliminary work on the scheme began earlier this week with the traffic lights switched off. The construction of a new pedestrian crossing on Barton Street is underway.
The work will step up a gear in the coming weeks and is expected to be completed by the Spring.
Darlington Borough Council is delivering the scheme, which is being jointly funded by the council and Tees Valley Combined Authority through the National Productivity Investment Fund.
Councillor Heather Scott OBE, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “I was pleased to be able to launch the work on the throughabout on Haughton Road.
“This was one of our manifesto pledges for the election in May and I think this is something that will be very well received. It was interesting and encouraging to see drivers tooting and waving, which shows that they think this is the right thing to do.
“We are aware that there is a little bit of work to do to ensure clear pedestrian access during these works. This is something the highways department are looking into and we should hopefully get some more clarity on that in the coming days.”
Councillor Scott, who is also Cabinet member with responsibility for transport on Tees Valley Combined Authority, added: “The traffic flow is already much better now that the throughabout has been blocked off, and I’m sure this will only continue as the work progresses.
“We must thank and acknowledge Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and our colleagues from Tees Valley Combined Authority, who have helped fund this project along with the council.”
Councillor Mike Renton, whose Stephenson ward includes the throughabout junction, said: “Over the last six months the issue that has been brought to my attention more than most others has been the throughabout. It has made simple trips a nightmare for too long, so it is great to see the back of it.
"I have used it a number of times since the lights have been switched off and it is plain to see that this is the right decision. With major developments happening this end of town, the entrance to Darlington can’t be hindered by this failed traffic management system any longer."
New signalised crossings will be built on Barton Street and Haughton Road as part of the project, connecting existing pedestrian and cycle routes in the area.
The first phase of work has involved the reconstruction of a retaining wall on the north side of Haughton Road, next to the junction with Hundens Lane. This will create the space needed to widen the road.
“The traffic flow is already much better now that the throughabout has been blocked off, and I’m sure this will only continue as the work progresses. We must thank and acknowledge Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and our colleagues from Tees Valley Combined Authority, who have helped fund this project along with the council.”
- Councillor Heather Scott, Leader of Darlington Borough Council