CONCERNS: Road, police and planning

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Going up Stobhill Bank in Morpeth in the bus you get the chance to observe the progress made with the investment of the cycle path.

Time will tell if it will lead to more Stobhill residents leaving their cars behind and cycling into Morpeth.

Speaking of car drivers, when there is a well-known local problem with traffic congestion and delays on Stobhill Bank, and when the designs to the entrance to Shields Road and the other side of the road were being considered, I was expecting more consideration of the need to improve traffic flow.

Sitting in a line of traffic waiting to get onto the main road as cyclists cycle past may be an advert for the benefits of cycling, but if a survey about how the county council handles road issues reaches that resident in the car, they may be somewhat negative in their feedback to the local authority.

When Morpeth’s police station was closed and replaced by an office in the town centre it was a surprise at the time.

I can understand Bedlington residents being concerned about the proposed reduction in police station opening hours because if you have a need to visit a police station, it’s rarely easy to wait until the following morning.

To help people think about changes in policing locally, perhaps more information could be given about the link between the police force saving money in certain parts of its budget and being able to redirect money, for example to improved response times and increased police visibility in the local community.

For Northumberland County Council to have a change of mind at this stage of the process about such an important document like the Core Strategy was surprising.

Asking officers who have committed many hours to develop and consult upon a land use strategy to go away and change their work will concern a range of people.

There is a feeling that certain areas in the county are more likely to be protected from inappropriate over-development than others, but this isn’t a new feeling.

If you consider how house building has been allowed in, for example Alnwick and Rothbury against Morpeth, the Alnwick and Rothbury approach shows a greater respect for the identity of the area.

This would be a good starting point for a re-write of a major countywide land use strategy.

Robert Pollard

Northbourne Avenue