MOTORISTS have said the new lay-out at Hexham’s multi-million pound roundabout is creating ‘chaos and confusion’.

Highways England revealed at the weekend it was implementing two temporary turning points on the A69 roundabout at Bridge End while major works to improve the area were carried out, with the new lay-out to the east of the roundabout already in use.

However, councillors and residents have been quick to label the plans as an accident waiting to happen.

Derek Kennedy, the Northumberland county councillor for Hexham West, said the turning point would cause a great deal of chaos as drivers would have to quickly change lanes because of confusion with the new road lay-out.

He said: “If you are leaving Hexham to go to Corbridge, you will turn westwards on the A69 and move into the outside lane. This will take you to the turnaround which will then redirect you eastwards on the A69.

“I am concerned that this is a complicated manoeuvre at a very busy junction so please be careful.”

Hexham resident Malcolm Wood had similar reservations about how quickly motorists would adapt to the lay-out. He said: “The traffic jams will be atrocious. It will be an accident in the first two weeks.”

Russell Mitchell said: “It’s the biggest waste of money. Which idiots were responsible for this?”

The turning point on the western side of the roundabout, for drivers leaving Hexham and travelling east towards Newcastle, will open on Saturday, July 18.

The roundabout is set to close for 12 months once both turnarounds open, allowing work to take place on building the bridge supports for the roundabout.

The pedestrian footpath on the east bridge will also be closed with a diversion to the west via Hermitage Bridge.

Highways England said A69 road closures would be carried out overnight over the coming weeks.

Work has continued to progress on the £30m scheme despite the lockdown.