Residents call for tougher speed measures

Powburn residents have called for tougher measures to deter motorists from speeding through their village.

There have been long-standing safety concerns as a result of traffic speeding through on the A697.

Northumberland County Council has agreed to undertake a speed survey and pass the information on to the Northumbria Safer Roads Initiative.

The existing 30/40mph speed-limit signs will also be illuminated and the road markings at the Glanton junction reinstated.

However, residents believe there are several other ideas including speed cameras, interactive signs and traffic calming which could be tried.

Graham Williamson said: “This problem has existed for years and the proposed actions will do little to reduce the speed of vehicles.

“Numerous housing estates in Northumberland have road calming measures, pedestrian crossings and central refuges.

“It cannot be right that a village that is cut in two by an A-class road, on which vehicles regularly exceed the speed limit, has no crossing facilities or central refuge for vulnerable pedestrians.”

But highways manager Jim Long explained that the A697 was considered too narrow for a central refuge and did not meet the required criteria for a pedestrian crossing or speed camera.

Central hatched markings were discounted as they would move the traffic closer to the footway and building lines.

It was also pointed out that there had been only one serious road accident in the village in the past five years.

Coun Glen Sanderson felt that the best solution was for traffic police to step up their patrols in the village.

“Until motorists know there might be someone waiting round the corner to catch them speeding and hit them in the pocket with a fine this problem will continue,” he said, revealing that a lobby group comprising councillors whose ward includes the A697 had been formed.