Major work to transform the shopping area in Forest Hall is on schedule to finish at the end of this month (March).
The Forest Hall Public Realm Improvement Scheme, which is aimed at creating a village feel, is nearly finished, with road resurfacing the only outstanding work to be completed.
North Tyneside Council’s project, which is being delivered by its partner Capita, got underway in November 2018 and has remained on track throughout.
The authority has taken on board feedback from local businesses and residents, who asked for a more inclusive and aesthetically pleasing environment, improved parking allocation and more open spaces.
As a result, various improvements have been carried out along Station Road North, which include the introduction of new street furniture, upgrades to the pedestrian footway and the installation of parallel parking bays.
A raised table will also be introduced at the Station Road North/Station Road junction, which will act as a traffic-calming measure.
Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE said: “I am delighted that the improvement work to the shopping area at Forest Hall is nearing completion.
“The village is much valued locally by residents and those who work there. They told us that it was looking tired and asked if it could be enhanced and made more attractive.
“We listened to what they told us and following consultation we have made a host of improvements, including new seating, better surfacing and more parking, which has created a fresh, vibrant new look.”
Cllr Janet Hunter, on behalf of the three ward councillors, said: “The shopping area is a thriving hub of the village and is highly valued among the community.
“We’ve had a lot of positive comments about the work being done and many people are pleased to see it happening.
“The council has worked closely with business owners and residents to try and minimise disruption as much as possible and make sure they’re happy with what’s being done and I’m sure it will be worth all the upheaval.”
Local resident Davey Duff added: “I think it’s absolutely amazing what the council has done for Forest Hall, especially for the community.
“The upgrade is fantastic, it looks a lot brighter and cleaner, so everybody here is over the moon and there’s plenty of parking now so everything is working well.”
The final element of the project is the road’s resurfacing, which will get under way during the week commencing March 25, with works expected to take five days.
To keep disruption to a minimum, the team will work from 7pm to 6am, during which time Station Road North will be closed.
However, access will be maintained for pedestrians, businesses including their deliveries, and Irving House residents.
There will be a clearly signposted diversion for drivers, as well as temporary two-way lights on Station Road.
The parking bays on Station Road North will also be suspended from 3pm to 7am.
The bus stop on the Station Road North/Station Road junction will be suspended for the duration of the works. A temporary stop will be in operation further up Station Road North.
During the road closure times, Arriva’s 53 service (Cramlington – North Shields) will be diverted between Southgate and Palmersville Metro via Great Lime Road in both directions. More information can be found at www.nexus.org.uk/bus
If you have a query, contact the Major Projects Team on (0191) 643 6500, or email ForestHallTeam@northtyneside.go.uk