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Sunday, 24 May 2015

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Major work at Corbridge blackspot

THOUSANDS of pounds worth of work to rid Corbridge residents of a dangerously steep slope on one of the village’s busy shopping streets is almost complete.

Coun. Jean Fearon outside Corbridge Co-op where major improvements have been made.

Crumbling Tarmac on a grotesque gradient on Hill Street, which would become an ice rink each winter, has long been the concern of pedestrians who have precariously tackled the notorious section of footpath near the Co-op supermarket for years.

Motorists didn’t escape peril either, as they were forced to negotiate the blackspot each time they required the use of an inconveniently sited parking ticket machine.

But almost a year after a scheme of improvement work costing in the region of £12,000 was first mooted, the area has been transformed.

For Northumberland County Council engineers have ripped up and resurfaced the area, while reducing the slope to a much more manageable incline and re-siting the ticket machine on the edge of the main footway.

The raised paved walkway in front of nearby shops is now linked to the footway by two smooth ramps, giving wheelchair users and adults with pushchairs easy access.

Part of the area has been resurfaced with decorative stone which ties in with the surroundings while steps down to the Co-op have been improved and new handrails have been added.

“This has been a major piece of work which will hopefully make a difference to a lot of people,” said county councillor for the village, Coun. Jean Fearon.

“We’re just waiting for some suitable weather to allow a non-slip surface to be applied to the Tarmac and it will be complete.”

Coun. Fearon funded the scheme through her annual member’s funding.

It coincided with £50,000-worth of road resurfacing work on Hill Street, which was carried out last year, and was funded through the county’s Local Transport Plan.

“There have been three main considerations that have been kept in mind while this area, which has been a bit of a village blackspot, was being improved,” said Coun. Fearon.

“Firstly and most importantly was the safety of pedestrians, who had long struggled to negotiate that area.

“Then secondly we had to look at what was possible from an engineering point of view and finally to make sure the aesthetics fitted in with the village as a conservation area.”

Coun. Fearon praised the project manager, Scott Wharton, and his team.

And it seems the improvements have gone down well with local people too.

At the latest Corbridge Parish Council meeting villager Graham Curry said: “I’d just like to compliment the works on Hill Street – it’s absolutely superb.

“It has turned out far better than I thought was possible.”

Vice-chairman of the parish council, Coun. Maurice Hodgson said: “The slope has been re-profiled and the team of people behind it have really listened to what the parish council and local people wanted.

“They’ve really delivered.”