VIDEO | New £30m Morpeth Bypass officially opens
Years in the making drivers have finally taken to the multimillion pound Morpeth Bypass for the first time.
The ribbon was cut on the new 3.8km road on Tuesday, with the first cars making the journey that afternoon.
After nearly two years of construction, it runs from Whorral Bank roundabout to the A1 trunk road between Fairmoor and Lancaster Park.
Northumberland County Council said the bypass “opens up a lot of opportunity for future investment” in South East Northumberland, and could help bring £47m and 8,000 jobs to the area.
The scheme is intended to cut congestion through Morpeth and reduce travel time between the A1 and the South East of the county.
Steven Mason, Northumberland County Council chief executive, said: “I’m delighted that this major project is now complete and the bypass is finally open to traffic.
“The bypass will cut travel time, improve safety, ease congestion in Morpeth and open up the south east of the county.
“The council has worked closely with the contractors throughout this project and we’re looking forward to residents, commuters and visitors benefiting from this new road link.”
The single carriageway road has a 60mph speed limit, and is expected to bring particular benefits to commuters travelling to Wansbeck business park, whose new, faster journey is predicted to cost them 37% less to complete each day.
As part of the bypass scheme, 41,300 new plants and 16,675 trees have been planted along the route.
Dave Bennett, project director for Carillion, who built the new road, said: “The benefits of this project will be felt for generations to come. From concept to completion, building the bypass has been a challenging but fantastic experience for everyone involved.
“I hope the people of Morpeth, who have been so patient throughout the construction process, will feel an immediate benefit, with new route around the town alleviating congestion. And I’m sure it won’t be long before the economic benefits are also being felt across the wider county.”
He thanked drivers and residence for their “patience and support” during construction.