Hopes high that signs will help tackle speeding issue

Two new indicator signs have been installed in an effort to reduce the number of speeding vehicles along a section of road on the edge of Morpeth.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 05 March, 2016, 07:35
Coun Glen Sanderson and residents Philippa Raper (Hepscott Parish Council), Nicky McFetrich, Alice Hepton, Ella McFetrich and Beth McFetrich. Picture by Jane Coltman.

Concerns have been raised for some time by people in the Hepscott parish living near the A192 between Barmoor and the turn off to the village.

There have been quite a few serious crashes on or near the bank over the last decade.

The issue was raised with county councillor Glen Sanderson – his ward includes the Hepscott area – and after exploring the options available, almost £10,000 was allocated from his members’ small scheme allowance for the equipment to go in place at two locations along the stretch.

The solar-powered signs fl-ash 40mph (the speed limit for this section) and ‘Slow Down’.

Coun Sanderson said: “This stretch of road has a bad accident record, which is largely due to speeding.

“The issue was raised with me when I stood for election in 2013 and subsequent surveys found that the average speed for the section is 45/46mph.

“I asked through the Northumbria Safer Roads Initiative if it could be a location for a speed camera van, but I was told there was an issue with getting a suitable roadside position here for such a van.

“So I chose to go with speed indicator signs as the one inst-alled in Longhorsley two years ago has worked very well.

“It’s a big investment, but I think it’s worthwhile and hopefully it will be effective in reducing the average speed for the stretch.”

He thanked Hepscott Parish Council chairman Philip Ashmore and fellow members for their support, including with ‘ironing out the snags’.

Coun Ashmore said: “It’s a concern we’ve had for some time because some drivers ignore the 40mph signs or don’t slow down sufficiently.

“We’re very grateful to Coun Sanderson for providing this funding and hopefully the signs will have a positive effect. I would also like to thank the local residents for their patience in waiting for them to be installed.”