Campaigners wait for green light for meeting

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A KEY meeting to discuss Morpeth’s controversial traffic lights must take place as a matter of urgency, a councillor has said.

Northumberland County Council was due to meet with various organisations last month to talk over concerns about the Telford Bridge lights as part of a review of the town’s entire road network.

However, the meeting had to be postponed due to council staff shortages.

Now town and county councillor Ian Lindley, who has spoken out against the new signals, says the authority must re-schedule it as soon as possible.

“We need a time-scale for this,” he said.

“We all know the circumstances why the meeting was postponed, the lack of capacity is palpable, but we need to put pressure on to get this sorted out. It is dragging on forever. This is an urgent matter for the town.”

His comments were made at a meeting of Morpeth Town Council’s Planning and Transport Committee last week.

Members will also call on the county council to link its transport review into the development of a new Neighbourhood Plan.

At a full meeting of the town council, members decided not to join the Lights Out campaign group against the signals as it would involve a change of policy.

The authority said in July that the county council should examine the junction and make changes to resolve the problems, but councillors will look at evidence from a range of sources before making definitive suggestions.

Mayor Mark Horton said: “We have taken a position on this issue and we cannot revisit the policy for six months so at the moment we are unable to decide whether or not we want to join.

“We will only come to a decision on recommendations once we have examined all the evidence.”

Coun Nic Best proposed that the council should ask the Lights Out group to pass on all the data it has collected about the signals, which was unanimously agreed.

The meeting about the lights will include councillors, Lights Out, the Greater Morpeth Development Trust, emergency services, the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade, Arriva, Dransfield Properties, Northumberland County Blind Association and schools.

A county council spokeswoman said it has been postponed until further notice.