Traffic issues extend beyond Morpeth area

Stannington Station traffic.'REF 0508142725
Stannington Station traffic.'REF 0508142725

Traffic problems from the proposed Stobhill housing development would be seen further afield than Morpeth, a planning inquiry heard.

Stannington Parish Council Chairman Karen Carins said her authority is also objecting to the plans for almost 400 homes off the A192 as the scheme would add to congestion in the Station Road area of the village.

At the hearing last week, she said: “Stannington Parish Council wishes to raise concerns about this development, in particular reference to the impact on the road network.

“We recognise that some traffic from the development would head to Morpeth and use the A192 to go to Ashington, however we believe that the majority of cars will use the A192 and the route through Stannington Station to access the A1.

“Stannington Station Road was conceived as a quiet road, with approximately 100 vehicles a day using it. It is now a very busy road and at the last count there were approximately 6,500 vehicles per day passing through.

“Both ends are served by T-junctions and become heavily congested at peak times, being a risk to road users, and the centre of Station Road is separated by a level crossing on the East Coast Mainline. This is a very busy level crossing and the gates are often closed. There are often long tailbacks in both directions, which is a disturbance to residents from running engines.”

Coun Carins, who is also Chairman of the Stannington Station Road Residents’ Association, said that drivers often exceed the speed limit of the road, posing a further risk, especially as there is no pedestrian crossing or path.

She said in an exercise for the Stannington Neighbourhood Plan, the road was identified by residents as the most dangerous in the parish.

“With plans under way to deliver the Morpeth Northern Bypass, there is a worry that the road along the proposed development site and Station Road will become by stealth the Southern Morpeth Bypass,” she said.

“This road was not designed to serve the proportion of traffic it is already struggling to cope with. The risk to the community and other road users if this development goes ahead will be severe.”