IT has been nearly two years since the A69 junction upgrade at Hexham Bridge End officially opened to traffic and despite the £30m investment, things have not improved, according to one local resident. 

Meanwhile, the old bus station still stands derelict in the centre of town despite efforts to sell it for £1.5m in recent years, in another move that was criticised by Hexham locals. 

Finally, the project at Priestpopple, where parking spaces are being ripped up for flowerbeds, is also causing disruption in the town, and local resident David Dixon feels that the council need to be held to account after authorising these 'major wastes of money.'

He told The Hexham Courant: "They built a lovely new bus station but there was nothing wrong with keeping the old one where it was, which is now standing derelict, it is ridiculous.

"In the last three years, they’ve built an overpass to improve the traffic flow, which it has on the A69 but the traffic in the town hasn’t improved, so there’s hold ups on the A69 just as there was before.

"It’s just so annoying and I would say that three-quarters of Hexham would have told them that.

"What a waste of money both are. It was a lot of millions for this bypass improvement and we had two years of traffic interruption. It was horrible. For the people on the A69, it is an improvement, but at nine in the morning, they can be queued back to Corbridge.

"They’ve got a one-way system going in the town and it’s just chaos. They’ve got the roads blocked off, there’s only one carriageway right around the town. Last week, a truck or van broke down and the whole town was at a standstill."

However, the council were keen to stress that they had no involvement with the A69 bypass, as that was run entirely by National Highways, so wouldn't comment on any traffic issues that had come about as a result of the project.

The National Highways-led project, which began in 2019, saw the existing A69 mainline sunk below the roundabout to provide free-flowing east-west traffic - a move the group said will improve the safety and reliability of journeys to and from Hexham, but this has caused more traffic problems for those driving in the town itself, it's been claimed.

While the bus station move was completed back in 2016, numerous attempts to sell the property have fallen through, and it continues to be an eye-sore in the centre of town, with councillor Derek Kennedy describing it as a 'bomb site' back in 2020.

A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council said: "The old Hexham bus station is a key historic building which is in private ownership with Dysart.

"The county council is in regular discussion with Dysart about a new potential development option for the site and is working with them to explore a viable option for its future use.

"As soon as ideas are firmed up there will be a public engagement exercise."