TRAFFIC: Locals will know best

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I was sorry to read that Alex Swailes was unable to attend the Golden Gathering’as the Morpeth Gadgy this year.

Alex is probably more well known in the town than the majority of its last 20 mayors so I’ll not be the only person to be wishing him well and hoping he is back at the 51st Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering next year.

He is comfortable with people and enjoys the role. Both seeing the photographs year after year and meeting him during the weekend tell you this, whether you have known the man for years, or just met him on the day.

He has set the standards for Gadgies of the future to match.

The challenge after the success of the 2017 Gathering is to make the 2018 event better.

Tommys Park, the small park next to the Methodist Church in Morpeth, has played an important role in the town’s involvement in a number of floral competitions over the years.

The quality of the planting and the colours of the flowers have been an improvement on previous years, giving pleasure to people who sit for a spell in the park and who walk through.

With the extra tree planting in the town and the schools’ involvement, hopefully this will bring rewards when the prizes are given out at this year’s floral competitions.

I’m sure that the developers behind the neighbouring Greystoke residential scheme are aware of the importance of looking after the trees, and of appropriate planting, in order to keep the judges happy when they come to Morpeth to assess the town’s entry to the various floral competitions.

It was a relief to read that the proposal for a roundabout at the bottom of St George’s Drive’s intersection with Dark Lane is to go ahead.

The recent delays in Dark Lane, caused by the lengthy roadworks due to the infrastructure work, reinforced the concerns expressed by Bob Robertson about the impact of choosing traffic lights for traffic calming, rather than the impact a roundabout would have.

I say ‘traffic calming’ in that efforts have to be made to keep traffic flowing in Dark Lane safely.

It doesn’t require much imagination to see Dark Lane in the future as series of mini-roundabouts.

When you regularly see the difficulties that temporary traffic lights cause to traffic flow in Morpeth, local knowledge should be used when designing any scheme in Dark Lane.

Certainly, losing any part of Tommy’s Field allotments is unfortunate.

Like many long-time residents, when I visit the allotments I don’t see the fenced-off plots, I remember the characters who used to give the allotment its own special character.

But Dark Lane traffic has increased noticeably over the years.

Someone who was able to park at the entrance to the allotment in 1987 could still do so now, but it would take them longer to rejoin the traffic back into Morpeth.

Robert Polllard

Northbourne Avenue