A Tynedale MP has hailed his public meeting about the plans for £1.3m Ponteland to Callerton cycleway a success.

Hexham MP, Guy Opperman, held a public meeting on Friday, January 19 at Ponteland Memorial Hall, where over 60 people including government officials attended to hear local residents' views on the £1.3 million Department for Transport-funded Ponteland to Callerton cycleway scheme. 

The first phase between Callerton Lane and Rotary Way, was completed last year. Work has since commenced on the second and final phase, from Rotary Way to Prestwick roundabout, with a completion date expected in spring 2024.  

Once completed, the cycle route will connect people in Ponteland to the outskirts of Newcastle, allowing easy access to Callerton Metro Station for onward journeys. 

Some residents are unhappy about the effects the cycleway will have on the local area, particularly tarmacking over the bridleway 'Wildlife Corridor,' which currently forms the route, so a community re-planting event has been scheduled for Saturday, March 30 2024.

Guy Opperman MP said: "I visited the proposed route just before Christmas with nearby residents. Clearly, more cycle routes are a good thing, both for our physical and mental health, but they need to be implemented sensibly, and in conjunction with the local community. 

"I have been inundated with comments in recent weeks on how to maintain the Wildlife Corridor as a green sanctuary. I was delighted that over 60 people were able to come along to my public meeting at the Ponteland Memorial Hall to feed into plans to keep the bridleway a truly special place to walk and cycle.' 

Local resident Alma Dunigan, who was at the meeting, was awarded a Community Champion Award by the MP for her efforts in restoring the bridleway and Wildlife Corridor. 

Ms Dunigan said: “I was delighted to see such a well-attended meeting, giving us the opportunity to understand how this project has progressed, and highlighting how after Covid, it was a race against time working with Newcastle City Council to make the application for funding. Now, we can look towards organising further community involvement in the spring."