Lights protest prompts traffic review

A FORMAL review of Morpeth’s entire traffic system is about to get under way.

Northumberland County Council pledged to carry out the study amid protests about the new traffic lights at Telford Bridge.

The authority has commissioned independent transport and traffic expert Phil Jones to lead the work.

A meeting of key town stakeholders and lights campaigners was held last week and terms of reference were agreed that will see not only the Telford Bridge junction considered, but the entire transport network of the town.

Morpeth town and county councillor Andrew Tebbutt said: “It was agreed that a full, independent review of the junction was necessary, but that this should not just be restricted to issues around the junction, but take in the widest traffic management issues across Morpeth, both short-term and medium-term.

“We are delighted to have secured the services of Phil Jones, who has a national reputation around current highways guidance.

“An initial meeting of key stakeholders’ representatives was held recently and detailed terms of reference were agreed. It is expected that the review will take two to three months to complete and it will involve detailed discussions with all interested parties.

“It is important that we encompass all views and also establish the facts about traffic congestion issues across Morpeth.”

Mr Jones is responsible for some of the Government’s latest guidance on highways management and has carried out transport reviews in areas around the country.

He has had no previous involvement with Northumberland.

He will facilitate discussions with various groups and individuals to look at how the existing traffic network serves all users, including pedestrians, motorists, cyclists and delivery drivers.

The review will examine a full range of options for the immediate, medium and long-term future.