A new road linking Leadgate to Villa Real has now opened, making life easier for motorists and aiming to boost local businesses.
The major £2.4 million Durham County Council scheme has seen the old Villa Real bridge – which had to be closed due to its poor condition – demolished and a new road layout put in its place. Due to the narrowness of the bridge the old layout only allowed traffic to flow in one direction at a time causing a bottleneck for users of the route. The demolition of the bridge has also removed ongoing maintenance costs.
The new road layout is a direct, two lane carriageway linking Front Street in Leadgate and Villa Real, allowing for traffic to flow in both directions. As well as the new and vastly improved road, the scheme has also seen new bus laybys installed. Crossing islands for pedestrians and cyclists using the coast-to-coast route have been added with this section of the popular route also being widened and improved.
Cllr Neil Foster, Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “We’re delighted to officially open the new road and complete this major investment in the area. The improvements will mean a much better flow of traffic, making life easier for motorists and supporting local businesses by improving access to shops and housing.
“Once again we’d also like to thank local residents and businesses for their patience while this work has been carried out. It has been a lengthy and complex scheme to bring forward but we hope that everyone will now be able to appreciate all of the benefits the new road brings.”
It is hoped that the new layout will promote the local economy with potential investors and visitors previously deterred from visiting the area by the congestion caused by the old bridge.