Rush-hour journey times halved

RUSH-HOUR journey times have halved since the Telford Bridge traffic signals came into operation, according to data.

Highways officers say they have been continually monitoring the traffic flow and, contrary to the views of many residents, congestion has improved from when the mini-roundabout was in place.

They say the average peak-time journey from Stobhill to Morpeth town centre is now 12 minutes, compared to 20 to 25 minutes previously.

And traffic levels in the town are returning to the numbers prior to the roadwork disruption earlier this year.

Before the roadworks, an average of 23,000 vehicles a day used the junction, but at the height of the disruption and one-way system, the number fell to 17,000. Three weeks ago the level was at 21,400.

Officers also said that car park usage in Morpeth is up on last year’s figure and footfall at Sanderson Arcade is on a par with the last two years.

Meanwhile, data collected by AECOM technical experts has found just a 32-second increase in average peak journey times from Mafeking Park to Oldgate, comparing times earlier this month with 2007 results, before the arcade was built.

Council officials have promised to provide information on traffic flows at the next public meeting in July.