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ELWICK BYPASS: Plans lodged for Hartlepool road improvements

ELWICK BYPASS: Plans lodged for Hartlepool road improvements

Image: LDRS

Plans have been lodged for the creation of the Elwick bypass, which is expected to improve road networks around Hartlepool and allow for more new homes to be built.

An outline application has been submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council planning department for the construction of a new grade separated junction and a new highway North of Elwick linking to existing roads.

The plans would create a bypass for the village of Elwick and an upgrade to the current Elwick North junction to the A19.

The outline environmental impact assessment submitted by Scott Parkes from the council states construction works are estimated “to last for two years from Spring 2022”.

The scheme aims to improve safety on the A19 and access to Hartlepool, along with enabling new homes to be built.

Kieran Bostock, Hartlepool Borough Council’s assistant director for place management, said the plans are a big step forward for the project.

He said: “The submission of the planning application is itself a significant step forward towards our goal of providing much-needed additional access into and out of Hartlepool, creating a safer connection to and from the A19 and removing a significant amount of traffic from the village of Elwick.

“The application shall be considered and determined by members of the Planning Committee, according to planning considerations in the usual way”

A design and access statement from JBA Consultants, in partnership with the council, states the plans would help ease traffic congestion around Hartlepool.

It said: “The council recognises the significant benefits that such major infrastructure works would result in; in effect this would create a third access into Hartlepool from the A19.

“This would help to relieve pressure and congestion from the A689 and A179 and increase highway capacity through allowing residents within the area to use this access point safely.”

The project is from the east at the “devil’s elbow” on Elwick Road to the existing A19 junction on North Lane.

Brian Walker, chair of the Hartlepool Rural Neighbourhood Plan group, said the development would provide a huge boost to areas like Elwick.

He said: “It’s great to see some movement, it’s desperate for Elwick and Dalton Piercy to get the traffic away from the centre of the village.

“It’s a major relief, the traffic is just getting worse and worse and with more and more houses as Hartlepool expands, it’s just dreadful.

“It will solve this problem of the central reservations [on the stretch of the A19 near the villages] being closed, it’s an extra six miles every journey for people in those villages.

“It’s nice to see a step forward, but there’s a long way to go yet.”

Concerns had previously been raised by rural communities over “rat runs” through Dalton Piercy and Elwick villages due to the highways issues.

In 2018 Full Council approved the funding strategy for the bypass, which is expected to cost £18.5million.

It was agreed the scheme would be funded by a combination of external grant funding and £10.161million prudential borrowing, which will be repaid by developers of housing land in the area.

They also agreed to use compulsory purchase orders to secure the land needed for the development if negotiations with owners break down.

A decision is expected to be made on the proposals by the planning department in August.

Words: Nic Marko, Local Democracy Reporter

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