HIGHWAYS England has bowed to public pressure after a hard-fought campaign by local people, including Lord Allendale, against “dangerous” changes to the A69.

The highways agency had proposed a £30m investment in the A69 for a road bridge at Styford roundabout and an underpass to flow beneath Bridge End at Hexham.

Now the plans at Styford have been put on hold after the project came under fire from residents in villages including Newton and Bywell, for what they called dangerous proposals to change junctions to access their villages.

Peter Stoddart, chairman of Newton Parish Council, welcomed the news. “The proposals from Highways England had a major effect, not only on Newton village, but also on the wider community,” he said.

Highways England said the work at Styford had been put back until later in 2020 to allow it to carry out further design work with residents and stakeholders. It follows a number of public meetings where residents and county councillor for Bywell, Karen Quinn, raised their concerns.

Coun. Nick Oliver, county councillor for the neighbouring ward of Corbridge, said the area of the A69 was not the highest priority for residents.

“We thank Highways England for listening and will continue to lobby Government for full dualling of the A69,” he said.

Hexham’s MP Guy Opperman said: “I’m pleased that Highways England have listened to local villagers and will improve the plans going forward.” Work at Bridge End is expected to begin on February 18.