Ma­jor changes to town cen­tre

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - HERALD & POST -

WORK to re­duce a ma­jor town cen­tre road from four lanes to two has started.

New white road re­stric­tions have ap­peared on Bor­ough Road, Mid­dles­brough, be­tween Al­bert Road and Jed­burgh Street.

The works - ex­pected to last un­til the end of March - will see the four-lane road re­duced to two near Teesside Univer­sity’s Cen­tral Halls ac­com­mo­da­tion block, with the Puf­fin cross­ing near Gazette Build­ings re­lo­cated to di­rectly out­side the Cen­tral Halls.

A ded­i­cated lane for right-turn­ing traf­fic is to be in­tro­duced at the junc­tion of Bor­ough Road and Wood­lands Road, while the bus stop near the Univer­sity’s Stephen­son Build­ing will be moved to ac­com­mo­date the new lay­out.

Mid­dles­brough Coun­cil, which has de­vel­oped the scheme with the univer­sity, said the new road lay­out will have a num­ber of ben­e­fits, in­clud­ing the cre­ation of a more “pedes­trian friendly” en­vi­ron­ment through con­vert­ing some of the road into foot­path.

The author­ity also says that ve­hi­cle speeds will be re­duced, while the right­turn lane at Wood­lands Road will ease the move­ment of east­bound traf­fic along Bor­ough Road.

But it hasn’t proved pop­u­lar with ev­ery­one.

More than 100 ex­clu­sively neg­a­tive com­ments were posted on­line about the plans.

Ni­cola Reilly called the plans “laugh­able”, adding: “All they need to do is stop cars park­ing on the side of the road, then both lanes can be ac­ces­si­ble at all times. Many times I’ve had cars slam­ming brakes and cut­ting in front of me last minute!”

And Neil Hutchin­son posted: “We want to be­come a city and at­tract in­vest­ment, yet at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity we pedes­tri­anise or shrink the road net­work. Show me an­other city that cuts lanes into and out of the cen­tre.”

The scheme has been de­vel­oped in part­ner­ship with Teesside Univer­sity, which is meet­ing part of the over­all cost.

Work will con­tinue un­til late March.

Coun­cil­lor Char­lie Rooney, Mid­dles­brough Coun­cil’s deputy mayor and the ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber for re­gen­er­a­tion, said: “Mid­dles­brough’s road net­work is vi­tal to the town’s vi­a­bil­ity as the com­mer­cial and cul­tural heart of the Tees Val­ley.

“That’s why we are con­stantly seek­ing to main­tain and im­prove our roads, work­ing closely with part­ners such as Teesside Univer­sity who share our vi­sion for the fu­ture of the town.

“While ev­ery ef­fort will be made to re­duce the im­pact of the works to a min­i­mum, some dis­rup­tion is in­evitable given the na­ture of the scheme and the fact that Bor­ough Road is busy through­out the day.

“I apol­o­gise in ad­vance for any in­con­ve­nience caused by these im­por­tant im­prove­ments, and I’m grate­ful to road users for their patience and un­der­stand­ing.”

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