Issues over works in street discussed

Newgate Street, Morpeth.
Newgate Street, Morpeth.

A Morpeth business group is now focusing on the message that Newgate Street shops are still open for business after raising concerns about the works taking place in this area.

Last week, workers on behalf of Northumberland County Council started the project that involves relaying or replacing various paving stones on both sides of the street – extending from the Market Place to the junction with Manchester Street.

The works will take a maximum of eight weeks to complete and they also include improvements to the kerbstones, grates and drainpipes.

A one-way system is in place, with southbound traffic being diverted via Manchester Street.

The Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade was unhappy with how the works were set out and discussed the issues with project officers on Monday.

Committee member George Williams said: “The position we thought was agreed was that the workers would operate in 50-yard segments and they would start at the bottom of the street by Joe’s Pet Supplies.

“But they didn’t start there and the segment stretched for 150 yards.

“We hope the council will revert to the plan that was agreed so we can concentrate on working together to get the message out there that Newgate Street is still open for business during the works.”

A county council spokeswoman said: “We have met with traders representatives to discuss the issues raised and explained that we had to make some small amendments to the methods of operation. This is largely because of a delay in the delivery of specialist paving.

“We’re back on track now and have agreed to have weekly meetings with the traders to monitor progress. We’re also arranging some signs to help direct shoppers to businesses.”