A view of Hexham town centre

Hexham's one-way system being re-introduced

A temporary one-way system in Hexham that had been lifted in December to support residents and businesses during the Christmas trading period is to be re-introduced on Monday 8th January. 

The one-way system will be re-instated to enable the final phase of street improvement work to take place and is likely to remain in place until early Spring 2024. 

Once the scheme is complete the affected area will return to two-way traffic with no permanent change to highway arrangements. 

The temporary one-way system will enable work to take place quickly and safely on Hexham’s public realm improvement scheme which aims to revitalise the historic town centre and is focussing on the key corridor of Priestpopple, Cattle Market and Battle Hill.  

Over recent years Hexham’s historic town centre has been in serious decline with one in five units in the key shopping area standing empty. This led to a £3.5m investment by Northumberland County Council and Historic England to make Hexham a more attractive and vibrant place for people to live, work and visit, while also enhancing the Conservation Area status of the town centre.    

The public realm improvements are a key component of the investments underway and entire sections are now complete and looking significantly better than before.   

Improvements include upgrading paving materials, enhancing pedestrian safety, installing new planters and trees and re-configuring on-street parking to include an accessible parking bay, an electric vehicle charging point and wider bays. 

In the New Year the works will move across to the north side of Battle Hill and Priestpopple and include repaving with natural sandstone and the introduction of planters to add colour. 

Northumberland County Councillor Wojciech Ploszaj, cabinet member for Supporting Business and Opportunities said:  

“We lifted the one-way system during the run up to Christmas to make life easier for both traders and the public and help support local businesses. 

“Throughout the scheme the council is continuing to take every measure possible to mitigate disruption to businesses and customers. This includes ensuring that access to properties and businesses is maintained and enabling deliveries as well as quick stops for shopping/collection, wherever practical. 

“We really appreciate the patience of residents and businesses. It’s not always been easy but it is the only way to get the work done quickly and safely and bring much needed improvements to the streetscape of this beautiful and historic town.

"I know this work may be disruptive but it will be worth it and we will work as quickly as we can.”  

Hexham HSHAZ is part of a national £95 million government-funded programme led by Historic England, designed to secure lasting improvements and rejuvenate historic high streets.   

The investment is further supported by a building grants scheme, which has enabled business owners to undertake vital restoration work with a number of properties brought back into use, creating jobs and improving the streetscape.   

Over the last few months retailer confidence in Hexham appears to have increased with a flurry of business openings in the town centre. Muro Lounge has taken on premises vacated by Argos more than three years ago, Mountain Warehouse has moved to a larger unit and three new independent businesses are due to open their doors in the coming weeks.

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