Station Road re-opening work nears completion
22 Nov 2016 ARCHIVED (over 3 months old) - view latest news
Work to re-open Ashington’s main shopping street to traffic is entering its final stages.
The six-month project on Station Road is designed to boost local trade, improve the look of the street and help deliver wider economic benefits as part of the ongoing regeneration of the town centre.
The current pedestrianisation of Station Road dates from the early 1990s and was introduced in an effort to help stimulate local trade but it became clear from stakeholder feedback that the time was right to re-evaluate the street and its use.
Work started in May and the street is now set to re-open to traffic in early December - one-way westbound from Grand Corner.
There will be 30 on-street parking bays and six disabled parking spaces. The parking bays will be restricted to 30 minutes parking with no return for two hours, while the disabled bays will have a two hour limit. The street will be a “controlled zone” which means that there will be no waiting or loading at any time except in these marked bays.
The aim is to promote a high turnover of motorists using the street and prevent the bays being used as a place for employees to park all day.
Councillor Ian Swithenbank, Cabinet member for Local Services, said: “This £1.5m scheme will provide a number of advantages and it’s great to see it nearing completion.
“Station Road will benefit from increased passing trade, which in itself should help to improve the viability and quality of high street retail and services.
“The work will help to facilitate plans to improve the streetscape including removing unnecessary street clutter, promote improvements to shop-fronts and enable events to encourage local people back to the town centre.”
The street has been designed to be a low speed environment for local traffic and there will be a speed limit of 20mph on the new road. The weekly market will be maintained on the street each Tuesday. This will be sited on the north side of the road where new 'pop-up' style stalls will be introduced along with electric plug in facilities and water taps for events and different markets.
Ashington Councillor Brian Gallacher, who is also on the town’s steering group, added: “This is the latest phase of a range of improvements for the town.
“As the scheme nears completion it’s already looking impressive, with new trees, plants and benches being installed.
“Once open it should provide a real boost for the town’s economy.”
To complement the work, the rear of Station Road both north and south will be resurfaced in December.