Find out about the improved safety measures we are proposing on the A67 between Bowes and Barnard Castle, including the town centre.
The proposed improvements along the rural section of the A67 include enhanced road markings and signs.
The improvements are subject to being awarded funding from the Department for Transport's £175m Safer Roads Fund. The Department for Transport sought bids from local authorities which have been assessed as having one of the country's 50 highest risk sections of road, of which the A67 is one. We have applied for £528,000.
During October 2017 we invited people to comment on our proposals at events held in Barnard Castle where ourwas displayed. The events were well attended, generating feedback at the events and by email. The main points of discussion were the Harmire Junction, Startforth 30/40mph gateway and The Bank bus stops. The feedback was taken into account when finalising the improvement plan.
What improvements are in the final plan?
The following improvements will be completed by late summer 2018 subject to funding success:
Bede Road mini roundabout
We will be improving the road marking at the roundabout and the approaches along with some new hazard markers.
Pedestrian crossing point improvements (Galgate)
There are a number of existing pedestrian crossing points running along the stretch of Galgate. We will improve these crossing points by introducing new lit signage and paving where required.
Horse Market traffic signals
We will increase the width of the paving in the vicinity of the signalised crossing on the western side. This will reduce the distance across the carriageway for pedestrians crossing the road and will also reduce the time traffic will be stopped for. We also expect the changes to help dissuade cars from being parked on the approach to the signals which can cause visibility problems. This will improve the crossing experience for pedestrians whilst also improving the flow of traffic.
Startforth Bank junction
On Startforth Bank junction we will introduce a splitter island to improve how vehicles negotiate the junction as well as resurfacing the majority of the road on the approach to the junction.
Startforth 30/40mph gateway
In order to emphasise the change of speed limit as people head into the 30mph limit we are introducing a gateway feature, involving the introduction of an additional island, to allow improved signage. Following comments received during the information events, we are also looking at the possibility of introducing pedestrian crossing refuges along this stretch. Further information will be added once confirmed.
Startforth 40mph/national speed limit gateway
We will make improvements at the change of speed limit from national speed limit to 40mph at the start of Startforth. This will include the introduction of a central island and new kerbing to allow new signage.
A66 to Startforth enhanced road markings and ploughable road studs
Along the western stretch of the A67 road markings will be enhanced or improved, including those at a number of junctions. In addition the road studs along this stretch will be upgraded so they are more suitable for being regularly ploughed in periods of bad weather.
We are proposing to introduce a 20mph speed limit to the majority of roads in Barnard Castle. Following comments at the information events, we have included Startforth. The extent of the proposed 20mph areas has been based on speed surveys. The Traffic Regulation Order advertising these proposals is currently under consultation.
The Bank bus stops
The two existing bus stops at the bottom of The Bank are frequently blocked by parked cars and the buses needing to stop here are not able to do so correctly, having to stop in the carriageway. This required passengers to walk out from the footpath and across the carriageway into the bus. This is not best practice, especially for anyone with mobility issues.
Following feedback which highlighted concerns over any reduction in parking, we have amended the proposals to introduce a footpath build-out/promontory at each bus stop, allowing passengers to more suitably access the bus and also allowing cars to formally park here.
Proposed improvements removed from the final plan
Harmire Road junction
This proposal originated from requests for a mini roundabout at this location due to traffic levels at peak times. Unfortunately the shape and formation of the junction does not allow a roundabout to be installed here.
As an alternative, we looked at the possibility of introducing traffic signals and at the information events we presented a plan showing the possible physical layout of a signalised junction. This was pointed out at the time to be only a possibility in the early stages of investigation both in terms of traffic modelling and resident comments.
We have since completed the required surveys and traffic modelling and the results of these combined with the comments received, has led to the decision not to proceed with the traffic signals proposal.
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