Traffic lights saga could rumble on

FEARS are growing that the Morpeth traffic lights saga will not be resolved until after council elections.

Campaigners fighting for the removal of the Telford Bridge signals say they have been told no decision will be made about the issue before the vote in May.

Consultant Phil Jones is reviewing the Morpeth road network following calls for the lights to be replaced with a roundabout.

But at a meeting of interested parties this week it was suggested that Northumberland County Council will not have time to act on any recommendations before the election.

Lights Out member David Clark said: “It is almost a year since the lights were put in and we were promised this review in August so it has already been a slow process. Now it seems any action has been put off until after the election.

“We’re annoyed about it because we were hoping that we would have something a little bit more positive to report by now.”

Criticism of the delay was also levied at a meeting of the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade.

Member Charles Sellers said: “Employing a consultant is clearly delaying tactics and it’s an absolute disgrace. It’s clear that the lights pose a safety risk and they should be removed as soon as possible.”

A spokeswoman for Northumberland County Council said: “In line with all the work that is required as part of this independent review of traffic management in Morpeth, it is widely understood by all parties involved that the study would not be complete until later in 2013.

“The independent consultant explained at a steering group meeting on Tuesday that it is important to evaluate the impact of the new supermarket once it is open, and also to allow further technical work to be carried out over the coming months.

“More information, including details of a stakeholder meeting held on March 4, will be issued soon.”