Public loos project layout approved by councillors

Thornhill Road car park public toilets at Ponteland.'REF 2701150881
Thornhill Road car park public toilets at Ponteland.'REF 2701150881

Progress has been made on a scheme to improve the public toilets in Ponteland.

After reviewing the suggested layouts for the refurbishment of the facility near the Merton Way shopping centre, the town council’s environment working party recommended a two-toilet option for male and female use that would also be suitable for disabled users and nappy changing.

At a full council meeting, members approved this option and agreed the appointment of a contractor – which had submitted the lowest quote – subject to suitable financial details being available.

The total cost of the project will not be known until a decision is made about the roof. A structural engineer has been appointed to examine it and report on its condition.

Meanwhile, members have agreed to have four permanent speed indicator signs at Cheviot View (both northbound and southbound), Ladywell Way and North Road. Three of these signs, which display the speed of a vehicle as it approaches and indicate if it is over the speed limit, are currently on order.

Coun Richard Dodd said: “Some will ignore them, but I think they are worth having because I’ve seen drivers slow down when their speed is shown on the sign.”

Highways working party chair Christine Greenwell said it costs about £4,000 each time they are rotated and she believes this money would be better spent on maintaining them to the right standard.

But Coun Robin Ramsay voted against the recommendation. He said: “We are going against authoritative research in the UK and overseas that these signs are not effective as a long-term measure.

“After four to six weeks, the speed of vehicles in the area where this sign is placed returns to how it was before.”

The three existing vehicle activated signs – a warning message is displayed when the speed limit is breached – will be used in Darras Hall and Medburn if the council can afford the repair costs, which are currently being sought.