Speed signage delight for villagers and councillors

Coun Christine Caisley, Coun Eileen Armstrong, Keith McLeod and Roy Perkins by one of the new speed limit signs.
Coun Christine Caisley, Coun Eileen Armstrong, Keith McLeod and Roy Perkins by one of the new speed limit signs.

Residents are celebrating after new speed limit signs were installed in their village.

People living in Prestwick, near Ponteland, have raised concerns over many years that the area being set at the national speed limit of 60mph was dangerous for drivers and pedestrians.

The particular problem area identified was a bend that takes motorists into the centre of the village and the calls were intensified two years ago following separate incidents where a high-sided van and 4x4 vehicle came off the road at this point and caused additional damage.

Their local county councillor Eileen Armstrong took up the matter with the highways department and after talks and fresh assessments, officers agreed to take action.

The £8,000 initiative includes a 30mph limit on the C352 Prestwick Road through the village and a new 40mph section between an area just outside the village and the roundabout near Newcastle International Airport.

Funding for the whole scheme has come from part of the members’ local improvements programme allocation for Coun Armstrong.

She said: “It took a bit of time to go through the process, but it’s great that the signs are now in place.

“The highways department officers were very supportive and understood the issues.”

Roy Perkins, a member of the Prestwick Residents’ Association, said: “There have been some really bad accidents over the years at that bend and although the council had said the issue was whether Prestwick was classed as a village, it got to the point where it accepted that something had to be done.”

Fellow member Keith McLeod said that the signage is already making a difference, as fewer vehicles are speeding through the village, and both men thanked Coun Armstrong for her efforts.

Ponteland Town councillor for the east ward, Christine Caisley, said many residents had raised the issue with her and she has applied to be a local operative for Northumbria Police’s Community Speedwatch scheme.