Questions raised over pedestrian safety

A bus negotiates the turn at the traffic lights.
A bus negotiates the turn at the traffic lights.

PEDESTRIAN safety has been called into question in Morpeth town centre.

Concerns have been raised that vehicles using the Telford Bridge junction are mounting the pavement at St George’s Church to try to turn left.

And at the meeting, residents reported that large vehicles are hanging over the pavements as they try to negotiate the tight turn.

One resident said: “This morning when I was walking on the pavement outside Louis Johnson’s a lorry came round the junction, not even one of the big ones, and mounted the pavement, probably only by a few inches, but I actually had my back against the wall. On two occasions I have been in that particular area when juggernauts came past and there was no room.

“It is a route I walk very frequently, living in Gas House Lane, and almost every day something happens. It is becoming quite alarming when the large vehicles come around.”

Town councillor Dave Herne, who is a bus driver for Arriva, said that not all buses and large vehicles struggle with the junction, but it is too tight for some to negotiate without over-hanging the pavement.

“Yes, some buses come round it easily enough, but the longer ones do find it very difficult and do end up over-hanging,” he said.

“If the traffic lights weren’t there, we could turn irrespective of the rear axles going over the painted roundabout. It seemed to work perfectly well before.”

However, county councillor Andrew Tebbutt read out an email from Arriva Operations Manager Ian Shildon, who stated that while traffic queues are longer now, there was congestion in Morpeth before the lights were installed, and that buses do overhang, but only so much space is available to accommodate them.

He said the signals are a fairer system than the roundabout.