Bypass a key road to future investment

16 Feb 2017



The new £30 million Morpeth Bypass, part of Northumberland County Council’s ongoing investment programme, is set to benefit businesses across the county, including Port of Blyth.   

The bypass is part of the Council’s £380 million funding injection, which is detailed in the Council’s Investing In Northumberland Financial Plan and Budget for 2017-2018. The strategy continues to protect frontline services while also identifying creative new sources of investment to generate income and drive future growth.

The 3.8km bypass, which is set to fully open in the next few weeks, will cut transport times for residents and businesses across the county, while reducing traffic and congestion in the centre of Morpeth, especially during the peak rush hour travel times.

By improving the road network and reducing travel times across the county, linking in Blyth and Ashington to the existing network, the road will also bring an economic boost, bringing additional investment into the area and contributing to the regeneration of South Northumberland.

Once operational, the bypass will remove barriers to development and create more sustainable communities through additional housing and by supporting economic growth.

Martin Lawlor, Chief Executive of Port of Blyth, said: “Northumberland County Council’s investment into the new Morpeth Bypass will mean much easier and quicker access to the A1 for the wide range of cargoes passing through the port, bringing benefits to ourselves and our customers.

“This new road link will not only benefit our business by cutting down on journey times, but will also form part of an attractive package for businesses looking to transport goods in and out of the UK. Good connectivity into the national road network is often high on the list of priorities for our customers, so the new bypass can only serve to strengthen our offering.”

Council Leader Grant Davey said: “Our annual budget report makes it clear that we are thinking differently for these different times. On top of the funding reductions already passed down from central Government, we’re facing further cuts of £36 million over the next three years – with £6 million to come next year. Despite these very challenging circumstances, we are determined to do the very best for our county.

“Our investments, such as the new Morpeth Bypass, will contribute to economic growth and regeneration as well as, in this case, bring a huge benefit to businesses across the county that rely on our road network, such as Port of Blyth. In addition, residents of Morpeth stand to benefit from reduced traffic in the town, and quicker access to the A1.

“We continue to do all we can to maintain our vital frontline services; generating jobs in the county, improving education and providing affordable housing, while at the same time developing new opportunities and creating new income streams. The returns from these innovative investments bring money back into the local economy and ensure every pound spent delivers the best value on behalf of our residents.”

Council Deputy Leader Dave Ledger added: “Our targeted investments will benefit residents and bring returns which we can reinvest into making a great county even better. In the longer term, the new Morpeth Bypass, will remove barriers to development and create more sustainable communities through additional housing and by supporting economic growth.”

Northumberland County Council is also investing £5 million in support of Ashington-Blyth-Tyne rail line, which will see the opening of new stations and additional passenger trains. Once complete in 2021, the line will mean commuters and tourists can enjoy a comprehensive and convenient transport network across the county, benefiting them and boosting the local economy.

The Council is also investing £2.8 million in developing 26 affordable living bungalows in Blyth that are accessible to people with disabilities and incorporate dementia-friendly designs. While Blyth and Ashington both stand to benefit from ongoing investment into leisure facilities and public parks.

To find out more about how the council is using different thinking for different times and investing in your area, visit www.northumberland.gov.uk/budget