Northern bypass fund bid goes in

A FORMAL application for Government funding has been submitted for the Morpeth Northern Bypass.

Northumberland County Council has made a ‘best and final bid’ to the Department for Transport (DfT) for 70 per cent of the £35million scheme that would ease traffic congestion in the town.

Linking the A197 at Whorral Bank to the A1 trunk road south of Fairmoor would also help local businesses by improving the connection to a major transport route and better the prospects for private sector-led housing investment.

The unitary authority’s contribution will come from its £42million pot to help fund major projects across the county.

Executive Member for Infrastructure and Environment Isabel Hunter said: “With the submission of the bid to the DfT, we are bringing our vision of a completed strategic link road a step closer.

“The improved transport links will help to attract people, business, jobs and prosperity to the county.”

Earlier this year, the bypass met the required standards to be put on a Government ‘development pool’ list along with 22 other schemes.

But the DfT said it would be able to fund the majority, but not all, of these projects because the likely demand for funding would be about £950million and only £630million is available.