Traffic-increase assumptions are wide of the mark

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IT is reported in the Morpeth Herald that the county council is to involve a further consultant to review the issue of the traffic lights.

In doing so, it is essential that attention is drawn to the following points:

a) the lights were installed to meet an assumed increase in traffic of 20 per cent following the completion of the new supermarket.

This traffic must originate from areas south of Morpeth and presumably be based upon 10 per cent entering the town and 10 per cent returning south.

b) The recent dismissal of proposed additional housing south of Loansdean effectively means that the presumed increase would be generated from existing development in Cramlington, Gosforth, Regents Farm and Ponteland – all of which have ample supermarket provision plus the attraction of free parking.

What would attract them to change their shopping habits to visit yet another supermarket in Morpeth?

The anticipated increase of 20 per cent is totally unjustifiable.

c) Furthermore, the county council is of the opinion that the proposed Northern Bypass for Morpeth will reduce traffic flow over the Telford Bridge by 15 per cent to 20 per cent.

d) Even if the 20 per cent increase was justifiable, the worst-case scenario is a status quo and the original roundabout was quite capable of dealing with that traffic flow without creating the tailbacks, which are a direct result of the installation of the present traffic light system.

I would welcome a reply from the county council to jcbplan@lineone.net confirming that the consultant is made aware of these points.

J CAMERON BLACKHALL

Abbey Terrace

Morpeth