Residents get their say on new lights

CONCERNS about Morpeth’s new traffic lights will be aired at a public meeting tonight.

The meeting has been called by Northumberland Conservatives to give residents the chance to speak up on the new road layout at Telford Bridge following weeks of complaints about the system.

A series of problems have been attributed to the lights, from safety concerns about the sequences to congestion throughout the day, as well as difficulties faced by large vehicles negotiating the junction and confusion about a left-hand turning lane onto the bridge.

Last week, the Herald reported calls from residents across the town for the lights to be removed and the former mini-roundabout to be reinstated.

Conservative Morpeth North spokesman David Bawn, who organised the public meeting, said: “Local residents were not given input into the crucial decision to remove the mini-roundabout and replace it with traffic lights.”

He added: “Our meeting will seek answers to key questions. How much did it cost to replace the mini-roundabout? Were other options for the junction considered? Why were residents not consulted? Most importantly, what can we now do to improve the situation?

“The Lib Dems could have avoided this mess by involving residents in the decision from the beginning. This junction is the gateway to our town for visitors and local people alike, and residents will finally get their say tonight.”

Northumberland County Council is continuing to work with developer Dransfield Properties to monitor the junction.

Following a site visit last week, it was agreed that a permanent Give Way sign will be erected at the left-turn lane onto Telford Bridge and a bollard will be installed to restrict vehicle overrun on the footpath outside St George’s Church, in consultation with a church warden and county highways bosses.

There may also be moves to change the timing of the lights to give longer ‘green time’ to the northbound approach on Telford Bridge, but this will only be considered after review, data collection and off-site assessment is completed, and with the agreement of the council.

The public meeting will take place in Morpeth Town Hall tonight at 6.30pm.

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