Group campaign for safety drive on town road

Members of the Slow Down! A192 North Morpeth group, other residents in the area and local councillors.
Members of the Slow Down! A192 North Morpeth group, other residents in the area and local councillors.

Residents have formed a campaign group in an effort to get improved safety measures installed at a notorious Morpeth accident blackspot.

The issue of motorists going well above the 30mph speed limit through the bends on Pottery Bank, Bullers Green and the northern edge of Newgate Street has been a problem for many years.

Some limited improvements to signage and road surfacing were made following a serious impact to campaign organiser Maureen Davison’s Pottery Bank Court home in 2009.

Her property was semi-demolished by a van, forcing her into a B&B for more than five months.

People in the area have made individual requests to Northumberland County Council in recent years following more than a dozen impact incidents since 2009, as they believe stronger measures are required.

And now the Slow Down! A192 North Morpeth group has been created and a petition is under way.

The county council has said it encourages local groups to provide accident information so it can discuss the issues with them.

Mrs Davison said: “Individual complaints to the county’s highways department have been ignored and after hearing of the hit-and-run damage to a house in Newgate Street late last year, I decided to speak to fellow residents about co-ordinating our efforts. We’ve decided that the only way forward is through group action and we will be knocking on doors to collect signatures for our petition.

“We can’t wait for someone to be seriously injured or killed before improved safety measures are installed.

“The county council should be doing regular speed surveys so it can assess the full extent of the problem because the 25mph advisory sign before the bends is being ignored by a significant number of drivers and although the anti-skid surfacing is better than nothing, it is not slowing them down.

“We hope that the highways department will consider suggestions like speed cushions and moving the mobile camera through the Safe Speed for Life initiative further down Pottery Bank to the more densely populated areas.

“We’re grateful to everyone who has signed the petition so far and our ward county councillor, David Bawn, for his support.”

Coun Bawn added: “Speed on this road remains a major concern, as the extension of the 30mph limit out past Fulbeck has done little to alleviate the problem of motorists speeding when entering Morpeth from the north and travelling down past Pottery Bank and Bullers Green.

“I applaud the local residents raising awareness of this issue and hope that it will be possible to put in place measures to address this problem.”

Those who wish to join the campaign, or receive more information about it, can email slowdownnorthmorpeth@gmail.com or search for Slow Down! A192 North Morpeth on Facebook.

A county council spokesman said: “In recent years, we have introduced safety measures at this location as a result of concerns raised by the public and we continue to work with the police to reduce speeds.

“Mobile speed cameras are regularly at this key site of speed concern for the Northumbria Safer Roads Initiative.

“The council does take the concerns of its residents seriously and works closely with local councillors, as well as the various town and parish councils, to prioritise an annual programme of improvements.

“We would encourage local groups to provide us with information and we will be happy to discuss these issues with them.”