Hundreds march on County Hall

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HUNDREDS of people marched to County Hall today to protest about Morpeth traffic lights.

Around 500 residents set off from the Market Place at about 11.30am to walk part or all of the way to Northumberland County Council’s headquarters as part of the Lights Out campaign.

The group was protesting about the new signals at Telford Bridge, which were put up in place of a mini roundabout in a bid to ease congestion ahead of the opening of a new supermarket in Dark Lane.

Residents and businesses say the lights have made congestion worse at all times of the day and night, as well as cause confusion, look unsightly and present safety risks to pedestrians and road users as the junction is too tight.

A petition of about 2,500 names has been collected calling for the reinstatement of a roundabout, a Facebook campaign page has been set up and at two public meetings hundreds of people turned out to show their opposition to the lights.

Today, the campaign went to County Hall, where a letter was presented by Coun David Towns seeking the removal of the signals and the return of a roundabout.

He said: “I’m flabbergasted by the support for the campaign that has been shown today — it is beyond all expectations.

“When I was asked how many people were expected at the march I said it could be 20 or 200, it didn’t matter because the point was we were keeping up the campaign, but today at some counts we have had more than 500 people marching.

“It just goes to show that people from Morpeth and around Morpeth are willing to come out and show their support for the campaign.”

Morpeth resident James Mee, who organised the march, was also delighted at the turn-out.

“This is really fantastic to see such a turn-out. It is Morpeth, it is the community. It is the public saying to the county council, enough is enough,” he said.

For a full report of the march see next week’s Morpeth Herald.