Contract awarded for step one of bypass

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THE contract for the first phase of the Morpeth northern bypass has been awarded.

It has gone to Carillion, following a competitive tender process.

The £30million scheme will create a 3.8km long bypass to the north of Morpeth, running from Whorral Bank roundabout to the A1 between Fairmoor and Lancaster Park.

The first phase of the contract will see Carillion complete the detailed design of the scheme, project managed by the Northumberland County Council’s highways team. At the end of phase one, assuming successful completion and a construction target cost within the available budget, the council has the option to award the construction contract to Carillion.

This process will be completed before the determination of the Development Consent Order for the scheme by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, in January 2015.

Construction of the bypass will start in the spring of 2015 and is expected to take 18 months to complete.

It will open up new areas for development, alleviating traffic pressures in the town centre and surrounding villages, and improve traffic links to towns in the South East of the county.

Councillor Grant Davey, Leader of the county council, said: “I am delighted that we are one step closer to providing the final section of this much-needed link route between the A1 and South East Northumberland. The improved transport links will help to attract people, business, jobs and prosperity to the county.”

Andy Brown, Operations Director at Carillion, said: “Carillion are delighted to be awarded this contract and to be working with Northumberland County Council. This is in line with our strategy of focusing on larger contracts and on contracts for customers with whom we have built strong long-term relationships.

“It is particularly pleasing to be involved in a scheme that not only benefits the road users and residents of Morpeth and south east Northumberland, but also unlocks valuable land for business development in the area.”

The Department for Transport will fund £21million of the costs and the remainder will come from the Council’s own sources.