Call for action over lack of speed restriction in village

Gerry Richardson and Christine Caisley of the Prestwick Residents' Association next to the chevron sign that was damaged by a van.
Gerry Richardson and Christine Caisley of the Prestwick Residents' Association next to the chevron sign that was damaged by a van.

Villagers have urged officials at County Hall to bring in a 30mph speed limit following two accidents in quick succession.

Prestwick, near Ponteland, was assessed by Northumberland County Council highways officers in February and introducing the measure has been discussed, but the local residents’ association believes that it needs to be progressed as soon as possible.

The renewed call comes after two incidents within the space of two weeks this summer by a bend that takes motorists into the centre of the village.

A 4x4 vehicle came off the road and destroyed a fence in the grassed area before coming to a stop in some bushes and a high-sided van badly damaged a chevron road sign and then overturned.

The area is currently set at the national speed limit of 60mph. The authority did install rumble strips a few years ago to slow down vehicles.

Prestwick Residents’ Association chair Gerry Richardson said: “We have had a problem with speeding drivers for many years.

“The rumble strips had a positive effect – before they were put in place, cars would overturn in this area once every six months on average – but they are less productive now that they have worn out.

“These accidents show how important it is for the county council to start the process for introducing a 30mph speed limit.”

Fellow member and Ponteland Town councillor Christine Caisley added that the association has also raised the issue of cars parking at the cemetery and in residential areas to avoid paying for parking at Newcastle Airport and it is working with local county councillor Eileen Armstrong on this and other issues.

Coun Armstrong said: “There is a need in the village for a 30mph speed limit and hopefully the first step towards this, a residents’ consultation, will take place soon.

“Those who park at the cemetery are being disrespectful and I’ve been calling on the airport to make people aware that it does have an area of free parking in its grounds.”