Drivers get order to slow down in Stobhill

A NEW 20mph speed limit will be introduced in Stobhill.

Councillors have backed the plans for Stobhill Farm and Stobhill Manor estates after consultation found public support for the measures.

The issue was initially raised by local residents, who were concerned about speeding drivers in the area.

Consultation forms were sent out to 312 addresses and 81 people responded in favour of the scheme, with 24 against.

Some said it would help to prevent accidents and should have been introduced sooner, while others called for more enforcement and a lower 15mph limit. Some residents requested more speed cushions for the area, but others called for the existing ones to be removed.

Objectors said the new limit was unnecessary, would be a waste of money and would make no difference to vehicle speeds, while the signs would be a blight on the landscape.

Northumberland County Council will not fund such projects after trials of six pilot schemes were inconclusive on the advantages, but local councillors Ian Lindley and David Towns have agreed to pay for the introduction of the new limit in Stobhill through their Members’ Small Schemes Allowance.

Members of Northumberland County Council’s Planning and Environment Committee considered the proposal last week.

Coun Paul Kelly said: “We know from the six pilot schemes that where there were no physical changes to the existing streets in some cases speeds went up. Perception and reality are different.

“If there are no physical measures being proposed here my own view is that it is a waste of money. If there is no physical measure that is intended to slow the speed of the traffic down and the traffic is going over the speed limit then it is pointless – wishful thinking. Unless you put something in that will slow the traffic down then wishing for it to happen will not make it so.”

However, Coun Dougie Watkin said putting up signs will enable police to take action if they catch speeding drivers.

And Coun Ian Hutchinson said: “I do agree this would be a waste of money, but there has been a survey and if the residents wish it, let it be.

“I don’t think there will be the resources to police it because there aren’t the resources to police 30mph limits to try to police 20mph limits as well.

“I think it is a waste of money, but if local people want it and the local member pays for it I’m for it.”

The proposal was approved by 12 votes to one.