Fears over another traffic nightmare

Residents and a councillor have raised concerns that motorists will experience more traffic lights misery in Morpeth.

Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 12:22 pm
Updated Friday, 4th October 2019, 22:06 pm
Traffic tailbacks created from the recent temporary lights in the area. Picture by Maureen Davison.

Huge tailbacks were caused when signals were installed next to Telford Bridge in 2012. They were removed about 18 months later following a Lights Out! campaign that was supported by thousands of residents.

Now more traffic lights are set to be put in place as part of Persimmon’s planning permission to build 53 new homes on land north of The Garth, off Pottery Bank, which was granted following an appeal hearing in the summer.

Pottery Bank Court resident Maureen Davison said: “We know from previous temporary traffic light experience that vehicles have stretched as far back from Lancaster Park to Bullers Green.

“We are also in an accident blackspot area and it’s insanity to put traffic lights within a short distance of blind bends, with static traffic queuing back where they can so easily be shunted.”

Colin Coates, on behalf of the Morpeth North Residents’ Action Group, said: “We did not believe the developer’s traffic figures, so we collected our own data and this was presented at the appeal hearing.

“This shows that traffic lights would cause huge tailbacks at peak times of the day and would be an inconvenience all the time because the road is never very quiet.

“Hundreds of homes on Lancaster Park have managed well without a roundabout or traffic lights for more than 40 years.”

The data can be seen at savemorpeth.weebly.com

Local county councillor David Bawn said: “I am extremely disappointed by the decision of the inspector, but as this decision is now made, it is important that we enter a dialogue with the developers.

“The plans, as drawn, including traffic lights will gridlock the town at peak times. My colleagues and I will be seeking a meeting with the developers to see how we can alleviate this problem.”

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes said: “We are happy to meet with councillors to discuss their concerns.

“Planning permission was granted with the provision of traffic lights, which offer greater pedestrian safety and connectivity, as well as being satisfactory in terms of the highway.”