Long overdue or a waste of money? 13 things you said about multi-million pound scheme at Testo's roundabout
Motorists have both welcomed and criticised a new programme of roadworks to transform the A19 at Testo's roundabout.
Work on the multi-million pound scheme, which will lead to a free-flowing route for drivers heading to and from the Tyne Tunnel, began today at a cost of £125million.
A similar scheme to transform the Silverlink roundabout north of the Tyne launched in August 2016 and is now nearing completion. This scheme cost £75million.
The work at Testo's will also see new routes provided for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders through the junction and improve journeys to Nissan and the International Advanced Manufacturing Park on land nearby.
New road links will also be created between the roundabout and the Downhill Lane junction.
You had plenty to say about the work, which is expected to take around two-and-a-half years, on social media.
Some drivers who use the route regularly said it was "about time" that work took place, while others bemoaned the impact that the works would have on their commute.
Speaking as the work got underway, Tom Howard, Highways England senior project manager, said the improvements were "vital" to improve the congestion the road sees at rush hour.
He added: "We can take great pride from the fact that this major work will benefit the region."
Here is how you reacted to the news on social media:
Julie Southern: "Take the traffic lights away and I’m sure the congestion will be a thing of the past!"
Nikki-Dee Laing: "What a waste of millions there’s nothing wrong with the roundabout at all! Fix the potholes and invest the money in education & NHS."
Gary Thompson: "The problem is the tunnel. It is way too slow. Remove the barriers make it free."
Peter Scott: "Complete waste of money, that roundabout moves really well and hardly any delays so whats the point?"
Pete Bogg: " Anyone using this road knows why this is essential and that it is long overdue."
Colin Coulson: "Hope it doesn't take as long as Silverlink."
Brad Hooper: "Just makes my daily commute longer. Money could've been spent on many more important issues."
Michael Wanless: "In the 30 plus years of using this roundabout never had any real delays so not looking forward it."
Robin Hunter: "Has needed this for years, it’s a bottleneck and an accident hotspot."
Ian Coult: "What's wrong with it as it is now?"
John Hallz: "Great idea should have been done years ago."
Chris Barron: "All for investment but A19/1231 & A19/Doxford Park turnoffs are where the money should go first."
Julie Docherty: "You could fill a fair few potholes with that cash."