HIGHWAYS chiefs are still looking into revisions to divert traffic while major improvement work is carried out on the A69.

Highways England met with Northumberland County Council on Tuesday to thrash out changes to plans for traffic using the Bridge End roundabout at Hexham, the subject of an underpass scheme by the road agency.

County councillors, and members of the public, were outraged when Highways England revealed proposals which would prevent vehicles turning right to either enter or exit the town on the A69.

Instead, motorists travelling from the west to Hexham would be diverted to the Styford roundabout at Corbridge, adding 12 miles on to their journey, while those heading east from Hexham towards Newcastle would need to initially travel westbound before turning around at the busy Acomb junction.

This week’s meeting was the second time Highways England had met with the council to discuss a compromise to the controversial traffic management plan.

It is believed that a major revision affecting motorists from the west will be implemented to prevent drivers from having to travel to Corbridge and back.

Further consideration was also being given to the traffic management arrangements at both the Acomb and Hexham West End junctions, while temporary layouts allowing traffic to turn directly right into the French Garden Industrial Estate, which houses the EuroGarage and waste management sites, were being considered.

Highways England’s Russell Mclean, the project manager for the A69 scheme, said: “We have met with Northumberland County Council to further refine the traffic management plans for Bridge End. This work is still ongoing and, although we are moving forwards, there are still a few options that we need to consider before we can start to communicate what is happening.

“Conversations are still positive and we will continue to work on a plan that balances delivery of the scheme, safety of road workers and drivers, and goes some way to address concerns around traffic disruption and its impact on residents and businesses. As soon as plans are agreed we will be giving out detailed information to residents, businesses and any other interested parties.”

County councillor for Hexham Central with Acomb, Trevor Cessford, said he and fellow local councillors had been outraged by Highways England’s diversion plans and they would continue to fight for a better solution.