WORK is under way on a scheme to help traffic move along a busy seafront route.
Chicanes on Seaham’s North Road and North Terrace are being removed, and a series of humps installed as part of a series of measures.
It is hoped the £80,000 programme will make the former pit town more accessible to visitors, as it is marketed as a tourist destination.
It is also hoped that the changes will free residents and commuters from the delays and difficulties they have faced negotiating the pinch points at peak times.
The B1287, which carries traffic from the Ryhope to Seaham road – and routes including the A19 via Lord Byron’s Walk – has become busier in recent years with the launch of bars, restaurants and nearby shopping centre and housing estates.
The North Road and North Terrace stretch will also provide a link to the new marina development, due to open later this year at North Dock.
In addition to the speed cushions, a humped zebra crossing will be installed on North Terrace, with a 20mph speed limit to be enforced.
Drivers are being warned North Terrace will be closed on the weekend of March 19 and 20 to allow the cushions and other works to be carried out on the street.
Durham County Council, which is undertaking the work, has said a traffic-calming scheme must remain in place because of accidents on the stretch of road.
Steve Keetley, the authority’s head of technical services, said: “We very much hope this work will make a big difference in improving the traffic flow, and making the area safer for both motorists and pedestrians.
“This an important artery for the whole area,” he added.
“And we are delighted we have been able to fund this with our partners at Durham Heritage Coast, supported by contributions from Seaham Town Council and local elected members.”