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Darlington Council provides update on A68 roundabouts scheme amid delay concerns

Darlington Borough Council has confirmed the scheme to upgrade a busy section of the A68 in Cockerton is on track despite doubts from residents it has been withdrawn. 

The local authority says the plans for the Cockerton and Woodland Road/Carmel Road North roundabouts will improve traffic flow and reduce congestion, improve pedestrian safety and hope they will encourage people to walk and cycle.

The plans were first revealed in January 2022 and included several public consultation events to gauge local opinion but received a mixed response, with the council later making changes following dozens of complaints – but they insist the new scheme is necessary.

A family was relocated to another property in the town after planners identified the need to demolish a house at the junction of Woodland Road, Staindrop Road and Carmel Road North to provide space for the improvement works. 

The Northern Echo: An existing aerial photo of Woodland/ Staindrop Road when the plans were revealed in January 2022An existing aerial photo of Woodland/ Staindrop Road when the plans were revealed in January 2022 (Image: Darlington Borough Council)

Other changes to the roads could include a pedestrian crossing in front of Cockerton Library as well as verge hardening on West Auckland Road, to tackle parking issues. Design drawings also show space for designated cycle lanes on the pavements at the proposed double roundabout section. 

The former cabinet member for local services, cllr Andy Keir, said: “We have taken forward a number of suggestions, in particular with regard to pedestrian safety and reducing the overall size of the remodelled roundabouts to reduce their impact on the existing green spaces.”

Following the recent concerns from residents, a Darlington Borough Council spokesperson said: “Design work for the scheme is progressing and it will be delivered as and when funding is secured.”

The Northern Echo: An existing aerial photo of Cockerton when the plans were revealed in January 2022An existing aerial photo of Cockerton when the plans were revealed in January 2022 (Image: Darlington Borough Council)

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The scheme has been assessed by independent highways and traffic modelling consultants who say the remodelled roundabouts are needed in the area and will create sufficient additional capacity for future years without compromising the road network.

Councillors were told in January that delays to the scheme were down to the council failing to secure funding. Further details on the plans are due later this year.



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