A COUNCIL has insisted there will be no disruption to a nostalgic flypast event expected to attract thousands of people, despite closing one of the main routes to the airport for resurfacing works.
The closure of a one mile section of the A67 – a key route to Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) from Darlington and the A1(M) – days before the much-anticipated arrival of the Mynarski Memorial Lancaster flight has led to fears of traffic delays for visitors to the sold out event.
Passes for up to 800 vehicles have been sold for celebration event on Thursday, August 28, with many people expected to travel from outside the region for a chance to see one of the last two remaining Lancaster bombers still flying.
The A67 was closed today (Tuesday, August 26) by Darlington Borough Council for a two week resurfacing programme between the A66 Morton Palms roundabout and the Sadberge Road roundabout outside Middleton St George.
The road is not expected to reopen until Friday, September 5.
A 4.5mile diversion is in place along the A66 and through the village of Sadberge, before connecting with the A67 via Sadberge Road.
The decision to close the road for such a lengthy period, and while a major event was scheduled, was questioned by a number of people on the council’s own Facebook page, with some asking why the road closures could not be confined to one lane or done at night.
A spokeswoman for Darlington Borough Council said: “We are aware of the event and are assisting the organisers.
“Diversions will be in place to access the airport and we do not expect any major delays.”
Peter Dodson, a spokesman for DTVA, confirmed that the event organisers had been contacted by the council about the road closure and said officials were working to put up clear diversion signs for those travelling to the airport.
Councillor Brian Jones, ward member for Sadberge, said the diversion through the village was “not ideal” but acknowledged there were limited options available to the council.
He added: “There’s no two ways about it, this will cause a lot of additional traffic to come through Sadberge and there will be problems and delays caused by it."