New calls to tackle speeding problems

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FRESH calls have been made to address speeding problems in an area of Ponteland.

Town councillor for the west ward Liz Thompson raised concerns about some drivers going way over the 30mph limit along Western Way in Darras Hall, as well as Middle Drive.

The routes are long and straight, which enable vehicles being driven carelessly to build up their speed.

Members of the authority will raise the matter with the police, but they spoke of the difficulty in finding a solution that would be accepted. It was claimed that most residents would not welcome speed bumps or chicanes and some councillors were against these measures.

Coun Thompson said: “I’ve been saying for years that action needs to be taken about speeding in Darras Hall, particularly on Western Way where some cars go extremely fast.

“We have tried to ask these drivers to slow down, but we’ve been met with abuse.

“I realise that measures like speed bumps are unpopular with motorists, but something needs to be done. What if a child is knocked over and killed?”

The county councillor who covers Western Way, Veronica Jones, said it was an issue that has been brought up with police in the past and officers have carried out speed checks along the road, although Coun Thompson said that they are visible from a long way off so drivers can slow down to a legal speed.

A few years ago, the authority purchased speed indicator signs which get moved across Ponteland every few months. They warn drivers to slow down if they are travelling at more than 30mph.

Coun Robin Ramsay said that they have been effective in slowing many motorists down, but some people will always drive above the speed limit even if there are a few bumps and chicanes along the road.

Town and county councillor Eileen Armstrong explained why she believes it would be very difficult to introduce any stronger measures than the indicator signs.

“The problem is that consultation would need to take place with local residents and I think that the vast majority would be against speed bumps and chicanes,” she said.

Coun Alan Mee argued that he and other drivers would be concerned about possible damage to their cars if bumps were put in place, but Coun Alan Chilton said rumble strips may have a better chance of being installed and they have been effective in the past near his home village of Prestwick.

Coun Jones added that other methods such as education will also need to be considered, particularly among those speeding drivers who live in the Darras Hall area.

The authority agreed to bring up the issues that were discussed at a future meeting of the west area Local Multi Agency Problem Solving (LMAPS) group, which includes Northumbria Police representatives.