ACCIDENTS: Resident’s call to action

Slow down on the A192 in north Morpeth.

It was with sadness and anger that I saw for myself the hit-and-run damage to a Newgate Street home, reported in the Morpeth Herald on November 19.

In 2009, my Pottery Bank house was semi-demolished following van impact, forcing me into a B&B for over five months.

At that time I campaigned vigorously for road safety improvements to our area, which resulted in anti-skid surfacing and additional signage, but the council was not prepared to do more.

Unfortunately, those limited measures have failed to prevent further accidents and property damage, which have increased in a blackspot area with no effective traffic calming in place.

Since 2009 there have been impacts to the following: walling to The Garth three times, walling above Pottery Bank Court twice, Pottery Bank bus stop sign three times, two cars turning into Pottery Bank Court with a driver hospitalised, Hillbrow walling, Bolland House, Bolland Nursery, Newminster Place walling, later skid marks and broken glass on the pavement at that same site, parked cars in Bullers Green and the top of Newgate Street, tractor overturned and two hit-and-runs to homes in Newgate Street.

It’s a shameful catalogue and there are doubtless other accidents I am not aware of.

Back in July I was walking opposite the Bolland Nursery when a car mounted the pavement I had vacated seconds earlier, swerving to avoid collision with another car turning into the nursery’s car park, and where the owner tells me there have been shunts to client’s vehicles doing likewise.

I subsequently wrote to Northumberland County Council expressing alarm at my near miss, asking if there had been any recent road safety assessment or meaningful dialogue with developers, with the many proposed new homes in north Morpeth undoubtedly swelling traffic volume and risk to us.

I asked it to review road safety here as a matter of urgency, as for every property hit, a vehicle has left the public highway, crossing a pavement with frequent pedestrian footfall.

My correspondence and follow up phone call remain ignored, despite reference number receipt acknowledgement.

With this latest Newgate Street incident and all the others, I cannot sit back and wait for another pedestrian to be seriously injured or killed.

I find myself obliged to hit the campaign trail again, but this time I will not be alone.

I am in the process of setting up a local action group with the aim of meeting, discussing and working towards bringing in improved road safety measures.

I am calling on residents of Pottery Bank, Bullers Green, Newgate Street and others from Lancaster Park, Fulbeck and Mitford Road who are also regular pedestrians in this A192 blackspot area to add their support to help save a life before it is too late.

You can find us on Facebook: Slow down, north Morpeth, email or telephone: 01670 518693.

Maureen Davison

Pottery Bank Court