Progress checked on £30m Morpeth bypass

Northumberland county councillors, staff and the Carillion project team.
Northumberland county councillors, staff and the Carillion project team.

County council officials have met developers to see how the £30million Morpeth Northern Bypass development is taking shape.

Eleven county councillors visited the site, near Northgate Hospital, to witness progress on the 3.8km bypass, which will provide a link from the A1 north of Morpeth to south-east Northumberland, bringing with it up to £47million-worth of investment opportunities while alleviating congestion in the centre of Morpeth.

One of the largest current road projects in the region, the total cost of the scheme is £30million, with £9million invested by Northumberland County Council and the remainder coming from the Department for Transport.

Developers Carillion are overseeing the project using the latest computer modelling techniques for quality control, to prepare a virtual construction before laying sections of the bypass, allowing for potential issues to be identified before physical work begins.

Coun Allan Hepple, cabinet member for economic growth at Northumberland County Council, said: “The project is using cutting-edge technology to provide a virtual model of the bypass before the actual construction phase begins. By doing this, the project’s costs will be kept to budget and result in significant longer-term savings.

“The benefits to the county from the building of the Morpeth Northern Bypass are vast. They include the opening up of large areas to the north of Morpeth for housing, regeneration and employment, which will potentially create 5,300 jobs in the south east with around 1,700 to 3,000 in Morpeth. I am delighted with the progress that has been made.”

The road will link the A1 to the completed Pegswood Bypass and also complete the link to Ashington and Blyth, with a foreseeable reduction in travel times and costs between the A1 and south-east Northumberland.