Well done, Lights Out

Congratulations to the Lights Out! campaigners and, indeed, to everyone who has played any part during the past 18 months, whether by letters to your newspaper or by lobbying their elected representative, in having the traffic lights at the end of Telford Bridge removed.

I have driven into Morpeth on numerous occasions since their removal, including times traditionally associated with peak traffic flow, and have found a greatly improved situation, not least at Mafeking Park which is now functioning again as a roundabout instead of a temporary parking place for inconsiderate drivers blocking every exit from it in their frustration at the huge back-up of traffic from the south and the east.

Most residents of Morpeth have suffered 18 months of such frustration and unnecessary delays caused by these lights.

It was obvious from the outset that the scheme was unfit for purpose, particularly for vehicles approaching from the east and attempting to turn south over Telford Bridge, where they were blocked by traffic queuing to go straight ahead along Bridge Street – hence the several incidents of vehicles mounting the pavement outside St George’s Church.

No amount of tweaking of the timing of the lights was ever going to ease the situation at this junction, whatever the constant reassurances we had that computer-modelling of the situation would ensure its success after an initial period of teething troubles.

I hope that the six-month trial period for the reinstated roundabout will become permanent and that the unsightly concrete bollards, erected for the safety of pedestrians, will be removed, or at least replaced by something far more aesthetically pleasing.

I also hope that those agencies responsible for deciding to implement the system of traffic lights will have the grace to apologise to motorists for the inconvenience and frustration they have caused, and admit that they got it wrong but I say this far more in hope than expectation.


Deuchar Park, Morpeth