Study backs up concerns about lights

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CAMPAIGNERS against Morpeth traffic lights say they feel vindicated as their concerns are backed by data.

The Telford Bridge signals will be removed and replaced with a roundabout for a trial period later this year following a recommendation by consultant Phil Jones.

Mr Jones, who was tasked with undertaking a review of Morpeth’s traffic network, presented a report to stakeholders in a private meeting on Friday.

And his studies showed that less traffic is using the bridge and queueing times into Morpeth are longer since the signals were installed in April last year.

Lights Out member David Clark said: “The data shows that traffic has actually reduced across the Telford Bridge by 15 per cent because drivers are finding other routes — rat runs. Traffic queuing times are also up from all directions, in some cases quite significantly. The Lights Out group feels totally vindicated.

“From being totally ignored just over a year ago, the evidence now published has backed up what the Lights Out group and the Morpeth public has always known.”

The traffic lights were installed to cope with an expected increase in traffic when the new Morrisons’ supermarket opens at Dark Lane.

However, they sparked hundreds of complaints over safety, congestion, confusion and visual impact.

Now they are set to be removed, but not for another three months.

Mr Clark said: “It has taken 14 months so far so another three months won’t seem too bad.”

The delay will allow for Mr Jones to consider the impact of the supermarket and the school holiday period. There will also be a visit to Poynton in Cheshire to look at a ‘shared space’ system.

A Northumberland County Council spokeswoman said: “The Morpeth Transport Working Group has received a presentation from Phil Jones. Following the last meeting in May, the study is on target to be finalised in September. Work is planned to continue over the summer period.”