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A172 Dixons Bank/Stainton Way improvement scheme

Background

Traffic congestion on the A172 Marton Road Corridor and on the other main north-south routes serving Middlesbrough centre is not a new phenomenon.

Predicted traffic growth, particularly due to the major housing developments planned and already underway in the south of the town, will place additional demands on the existing road network over the coming years.

For this reason, we – along with Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council and Highways England, which is responsible for the A174 Parkway and the A19 – have carried out an extensive evaluation exercise over the last four years to establish where and when the additional vehicle movements associated with the sites allocated for residential development in the Middlesbrough Housing Local Plan will impact on the local and strategic road network. We also looked to identify the highway improvements that will be required in order to address this impact and ensure that traffic keeps moving.

As a result of this exercise, a prioritised package of highway improvements has been developed. The implementation of these improvements will take place between now and 2030 (which is the life of the Housing Local Plan).

Improvements include:

  • the Stainton Way Western Extension – a new link road that will run between A1130 Mandale Road and B1380 Low Lane, designed to relieve pressure on the A19/A174 Parkway Interchange and facilitate access to the Stainsby housing site to the west of Acklam ​
  • the Longlands to Ladgate Lane Link – a new link road that will run between A1085 Longlands Road and B1380 Ladgate Lane, designed to relieve congestion on A171 Cargo Fleet Lane, A172 Marton Road and Ormesby Road
  • a number of junction improvements on Stainton Way and B1365 Hemlington Lane, designed to improve the capacity of both of these routes and relieve congestion on the A172 Marton Road and A1032 Acklam Road Corridors

The Dixons Bank/Stainton Way ('Southern Cross') junction improvement has been identified as the top priority for implementation.

Proposed scheme

The section of A172 Dixons Bank and Stokesley Road between Stainton Way and the A174 Parkway (i.e. past Marton Shops) currently carries around 25,000 vehicles on an average weekday, and there is little scope to accommodate any future increase in traffic flow without major alterations to the existing highway layout.

For this reason, the underlying principle behind the proposed scheme at the Southern Cross junction is to encourage drivers heading towards Middlesbrough town centre to travel via Stainton Way (which currently carries around 15,000 vehicles on an average weekday), the A174 Parkway, the A19 and the A66, rather than via the A172 Marton Road Corridor.

As highlighted above, improvements are also proposed at key junctions on Stainton Way and B1365 Hemlington Lane in order to accommodate future traffic growth.

The proposed scheme comprises widening of the existing carriageway on Dixons Bank and Stainton Way to create two lanes on the northbound and eastbound approaches to the junction.

This would remove the existing 'pinch points' for traffic travelling in a northbound and eastbound direction during the morning and evening peak periods respectively, and allow drivers to make use of the spare capacity that currently exists on Stainton Way. All of the carriageway widening works would be carried out within the existing highway boundary.

The proposed carriageway widening on Dixons Bank would require the removal of 25 existing trees in the highway verge. Although this is unfortunate, it would not be possible to accommodate the additional northbound lane whilst still retaining the trees.

In addition to widening of the carriageway, the proposed scheme includes an upgrade to the existing traffic signals. This upgrade includes the introduction of specialist software to optimise the operation of the signals and, therefore, the capacity of the junction.

The proposed scheme also includes the resurfacing of both roads and improvements to the existing highway drainage system, together with the introduction of improved street lighting. The existing 'toucan' pedestrian and cycle crossing on Dixons Bank would be retained, as would the existing bus laybys.

View the plan for the A172 Dixons Bank / Stainton Way highway improvement scheme.

Approved scheme

Middlesbrough Council's Executive approved the scheme, as detailed above, on 10 July 2018. We'll provide updates below as the project continues.

Please note, due to the size of these documents, they are best viewed on a desktop rather than mobile device.

Update: January 2019

Middlesbrough Council has appointed Cleveland Land Services to undertake the project, with a view to commence in February 2019. A full schedule of works is being formulated, with a view to share as soon as possible.

Update: February 2019

Cleveland Land Services commenced on site on Monday 4 February. The site compound is in place, and excavation of the verge on Stainton Way, and vegetation and tree clearance has commenced. The project timeline can be found below in the 'further information' section.

Update: March 2019

Favourable weather conditions have allowed good progress on the scheme to date. All trees have been removed, and drain installation will be undertaken in March. Saturday working has commenced, and will do so whilst the weather permits to allow the scheme to maintain the momentum and progress. This will help to deliver the scheme in a more timely manner, or assist in reducing the impact of any unforeseen issues.

Northern Power Grid works - Dixons Bank, Nunthorpe

As part of the highway improvement scheme, Northern Power Grid (NPG) has scheduled essential work to divert electric cables across Dixons Bank, at the footpath link to Whernside (80m south of the junction with Stainton Way). The work will be carried out on 9 to 10 March. Properties in the vicinity of the works are being contacted directly by Clancy Docwra, who are undertaking the works on behalf of NPG.

Manually operated temporary traffic signals will be in place over these weekends to facilitate the works, however major disruption can be expected. Motorists are advised to avoid this route, allow additional journey time or if possible, seek alternate modes of travel.

There is no anticipated reduction in utility services to residents as part of the works, however in the case of emergency, please contact Clancy Docwra directly on 0800 6345944.

Update: April 2019

Essential utility diversion works were successfully undertaken on Dixons Bank on 9 and 10 March. Drainage works on Stainton Way are continuing to progress, including the cleansing of the culvert close to The Fairway.

April sees the commencing of excavations on Dixons Bank, which includes a 'cut and fill' exercise. This involves the removal of embankment, and backfilling of low points to allow space to widen the infrastructure into. As part of these works, parts of the foot/cycle way will be closed to the public, however the signalised crossing point to the South of the junction with Stainton Way will remain operational, as will the pedestrian island adjacent to St. Cuthberts Ave.

Temporary traffic lights are scheduled to be operational on Dixons Bank from Monday 8 April to Wednesday 10 April.

The arrangements will see temporary two way traffic lights in place between the hours of 9am and 3pm (during reduced flow periods), and will be managed by specialist traffic management contractors, Premier Traffic Management.

The arrangements are required to improve the drainage infrastructure in the area at three locations (one on Stainton Way, and two on Dixons Bank). The existing infrastructure has dilapidated over a number of years, reducing the capability to deal effectively with excessive flows. By undertaking these works, the infrastructure will be better equipped to deal with such events, reducing the risk of flooding.

Throughout the operation, delays are inevitable due to the volume of traffic using this stretch of carriageway. Drivers are therefore being advised to allow additional time for their journey or, if possible, avoid the junction completely for the duration of the works.

Update: May 2019

Cut and fill exercises on Dixons Bank have been undertaken. During excavation, utilities have been uncovered which may require diversion. Consequently, this may impact upon the programme progressing as anticipated. The Council, Cleveland Land Services and Arup are working with providers to establish the best solution to minimise impact. Updates will be provided once a solution is approved.

Kerb works are almost complete on Stainton Way.

Update: June 2019

On-going discussions with Northern Gas Networks (NGN) have resulted in confirmation that the unexpectedly exposed pipeline requires re-locating deeper than it currently is. However these additional works will not impact upon any of the proposed highway works. This was not indicated to the project from utility plans provided by NGN, so was completely unforeseen.

Discussions with Northumbrian Water has indicated that there will be no further works required to alter the location of the pipe work that was exposed upon excavation. However, as part of mitigation measures, there have been some minor amendments to the initial highway design along Dixons Bank to ensure that these utilities are in more accessible locations, should future maintenance works be required. This includes a narrowing of the carriageway and foot/cycleway (combined) widths by a total of 600mm, which ensures that the pipeline remains in the grass verge adjacent to the newly constructed highway.

This will reduce the distance of the edge kerb to the adjacent fence lines of the properties on the affected section in the plans by 600mm.

Due to these timely agreements, it is not envisaged that the programme of work will deviate from that advertised, as other non-abortive works were able to be undertaken.

Stainton Way Carriageway is significantly completed.

Update: July 2019

Work commences to excavate and rebuild the extended carriageway on the eastern side of Dixons Bank. Northern Gas Network are planning to undertake their required diversion works at the end of June, which should be completed by early July. It is not anticipated that this will impact on domestic supply.

Bus stops have been disconnected from their power supply in advance of re-locations.

Drainage improvements continue along the western side of Dixons Bank. This will tie in new gulleys in to existing drainage channels under the existing foot/cycleway. Channels are being dug to make the necessary connections, reinstating upon completion.

It is not anticipated that these works will have any traffic flow/access issues, however should they be required, affected residents will be updated at the soonest possible opportunity, and disruption will be kept to an absolute minimum.

Temporary traffic lights will be in place from the evening of Wednesday 24 July for 6 weeks. The arrangements are necessary to enable contractors to safely undertake the dismantling and re-instating of the existing traffic light infrastructure, which is at end of life stage.

The works will:
• Replace all traffic signal posts
• Replace the heads and displays with energy efficient LEDs
• Replace pedestrian crossings with near side displays

It will also allow the update of the computer system which manages the signals, replacing it with the more advanced MOVA (Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation) system. Working simultaneously with the widening, this will enable more streamlined signal phasing capabilities, which is vital to ensure the most efficient movement of traffic through the junction.

The temporary system will be in place throughout the duration of these works, and will take in to consideration the room required to work safely on the pedestrian islands for our contractors, and to be compliant with Access For All legislation. This will enable a safe crossing route for pedestrians around the junction at all times, but will result in an alteration to the existing traffic signal phasing to accommodate this.

The outcome is that there will be no dedicated/separate right turn manoeuvres from Stainton Way. Vehicles turning right will do so via the existing “straight ahead” outside lanes. Each leg of the junction will be given a dedicated green phase to complete straight ahead/right turns simultaneously. The diagram highlights the phases that will be deployed.

Left turn movements will be maintained on the existing “give way” basis. Single lane flows may be required on occasion to accommodate safe working spaces. This will be kept to a minimum.


The installation of the temporary signals will require overnight working on the junction of Dixons Bank/Stainton Way. This is to allow the blocks required to secure the temporary lights in position to be manoeuvred on the pedestrian islands; requiring minimal traffic on the carriageway. This could not be achieved during day time working due to the safety of all road users in relation to the volume of traffic using the junction. 

The anticipated hours of operation are 8pm to 5/6am on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 July. The type of work required is not classified as noisy.  It will involve personnel manoeuvring the equipment, and vehicle noise. There is no requirement for drilling or excavating, and therefore any disruption should be in line with typical carriageway usage during the aforementioned hours. 

A low output (2.5KVa) generator will be minimally required to be operational to allow testing of the equipment. It is anticipated that this will not be required until the completion of the installations, on the second evening. 

The nature of the works are minimal, and as such it is not anticipated that there will be any disruption. However, should there be an emergency requirement, the contractors undertaking the works (SRL Traffic Systems) can be contacted on 07855957276. 

We apologise for the short notice and any inconvenience caused during this time.

Update: August 2019

Drainage works on Dixons Bank continues, as does the construction of the new carriageway/footway alignments. Work continues on the replacement of the traffic signals at the Dixons Bank/Stainton Way junction. The current temporary traffic light system is being continually monitored to ensure safety and maximum traffic flows are maintained throughout the duration of the works.

During August, there are proposed lane closures and restrictions required in order to construct the top layers of carriageway. This will be communicated to all residents, Councillors and the travelling public as soon as possible.

Traffic management and working hour alterations

The scheme is progressing to the point where the current traffic management arrangements will not be sufficient to allow the works to be undertaken safely and effectively. 

Due to traffic flows through the Stainton Way/Dixons Bank intersection, it is necessary to undertake signal and surfacing works on the junction outside of peak hours, under temporary road closures on Stainton Way. It is intended that these works will be operational on the junction outside of the peak flows, from 6pm until 10.30pm, anticipated to commence on Monday 19 August, until Wednesday 28 August (excluding weekends). Carriageway closures will be in place during these works, and for a few hours afterwards to allow the newly laid surface to cool sufficiently.

Latest update: 27 August 2019
Evening closures on Stainton Way will continue until Friday 30 August. This is to ensure that the good progress which has been made can continue, and to reduce the planned closures on Stainton Way in September. It is anticipated that this extension of the closure will reduce the time taken to complete the overall scheme. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.

From Monday 26 August to Monday 23 September, works will commence on the completion of Dixons Bank. This will be undertaken during the day (off-peak, 9.30am to 4.30pm), however they will require a single carriageway lane operation to be in place during these hours. During these hours and this period, it will only be possible to travel Northbound (toward the town centre) on Dixons Bank. This maintains emergency access to James Cook University Hospital, and maintains traffic flows for the morning and evening commuters. 

From Tuesday 10 September until Thursday 12 September, Stainton Way completion will commence, operating under a one-way system. Works will be undertaken during the day, however traffic will be able to flow only from Dixons Bank toward The Fairway roundabout during this period. 

The temporary traffic restrictions plan highlights the extent of the closures, and the timeframes for impact.

Throughout the temporary closures and restrictions, full signed advance diversion routes will be operational.

The above dates are indicative, however they may change due to adverse weather, or other unpredictable issues or events. It is intended to undertake these works in the shortest time possible, to minimise disruption. If there is an opportunity to complete the works sooner, it will be taken.

The proposed traffic management arrangements have been negotiated to ensure 4 main principles:

  1. Maintain safety of all highway users and site workers
  2. Minimise disruption to adjacent residents (no overnight working)
  3. Minimise disruption to traffic flows (particularly in the morning peaks, and maintain emergency access to James Cook University Hospital)
  4. Undertake the works in the shortest possible timescale, balancing the above

You are advised to allow extra time for journeys, or to find alternate routes, or modes of travel where possible. 

CLS will be on site throughout, and are the first point of contact for emergencies. Contact details can be found below:

CLS (emergency requirements) - 07795 651737 
CLS (community liaison - for day to day enquiries) – 01642 488 328 
Arup – Works Supervisor – 07305 935629 

For any non-urgent queries, please contact Middlesbrough Council by phone on 01642 245432, or email highway_improvements@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

Update: September 2019

Works continue throughout September, with carriageway restrictions in place. It is anticipated that the scheme will be substantially complete by the end of the month. Restrictions and diversions will be monitored, however traffic levels are anticipated to be high during this period.

Temporary traffic signal decommissioning

On Friday 27 September, the existing interim traffic signal system (Urban 64) will be decommissioned. This will take place from 6pm, with works anticipated to conclude in the early hours of Saturday morning, as per the arrangements when they were installed. The type of work required is not classified as noisy.

It will involve personnel manoeuvring the equipment, and vehicle noise. There is no requirement for drilling or excavating, and therefore any disruption should be in line with typical carriageway usage during the aforementioned hours.

An simplified interim traffic light system will be deployed to control traffic flow between the decommissioning of the current system, and the commissioning of the permanent new lights, which is anticipated to commence at 9am on Saturday morning. 

The interim system in place will operate on the same traffic sequencing as the Urban 64 arrangement, however there will be no pedestrian phases on the signals. This is a short term, temporary arrangement whilst the logistics of phasing the systems is undertaken. The interim system will be manned throughout in order to address any issues that are experienced throughout this period. 

The nature of the works are minimal, and as such it is not anticipated that there will be any issues. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Update: October 2019

The junction works are now complete, and fully open to traffic un-imposed. The improvements will be monitored closely to ensure that any teething issues are identified quickly and resolved. As part of the improvements, there is a slight alteration to the phasing of the lights on Stainton way, which will allow the straight ahead and right turn manoeuvres to run simultaneously from the same leg (where as previously opposing right/straight ahead movements ran simultaneously on Stainton Way).

Landscaping and other remediation works are being programmed, including the re-planting of trees and vegetation.

We would like to thank residents and motorists for their patience throughout this process, and hope that the benefits of the scheme are noticeable.

Further information

Information regarding the package of highway improvements of which the proposed scheme forms a key part, including the methodology used during its development, is available:

Environmental Impact Assessment

Studies have been undertaken to assess the environmental impact of the scheme from an air quality, noise and vibration, and tree removal perspective by consultants Arup, and Billinghurst George & Partners. The results can be found within the following reports:

Contact

For further information, please contact highway_improvements@middlesbrough.gov.uk.