Concern that HGVs may impact tourism

Liberal Democrat Julie P�rksen has raised concerns about potential HGV traffic along the A1068.
Liberal Democrat Julie P�rksen has raised concerns about potential HGV traffic along the A1068.

Concern has been raised about the potential impact that HGV traffic will have on the tourist trade in Amble, Warkworth and Alnmouth – if plans for a surface mine are given the go-ahead.

Liberal Democrat Julie Pörksen, who contested the Berwick constituency seat earlier this year, has highlighted the issue, as part of Banks Mining’s plans for opencasting to the south east of Widdrington.

The Highthorn scheme has been lodged with Northumberland County Council and has split opinion in the community.

Mrs Pörksen says that, if the scheme is approved, there would be 25 HGV journeys per hour from 7am until 7pm on the A1068, south of Mile Road, Widdrington, towards Butterwell or Blyth.

She said: “The A1068 is the key access road for our historic tourist villages of Alnmouth and Warkworth and our booming seaside town of Amble used by tourists and day-trippers and we don’t want to put them off. It is a fast and dangerous road now, and with the possibility of an extra HGV every two to three minutes, it will become exceedingly dangerous for cyclists and perhaps too unpleasant a drive for other road users.

“While a new mine would bring some jobs, I am concerned that these will be at the expense of more longer-term jobs and businesses in the area.”

A Banks spokeswoman said that an independent transport assessment shows the scheme would have no significant impact on the performance of the road network and that Banks has a modern, in-house HGV fleet that operates to the highest standards.