Traders fears lead to U-turn of road closure

Members of the Amble business community who are concerned about signage and access to Coquet Enterprise Park.
Members of the Amble business community who are concerned about signage and access to Coquet Enterprise Park.

Relieved traders have spoken of their delight after controversial plans to block off the main entrance to an industrial estate have been scrapped.

Businesses had voiced their anger after discovering that an important access road to Amble’s Coquet Enterprise Park would be closed for three months, starting in March.

The route was to be shut to allow for major work to take place, as part of Persimmon Homes’ housing scheme at nearby Marks Bridge.

But traders feared the closure, coupled with a recent removal of signage by Northumberland County Council on ‘health and safety’ grounds, would have a big impact on their businesses.

However, the county council has revealed that, following the concerns, the road will no longer be closed.

Instead, the traffic will be managed under a three-way traffic light control system to prevent closing the road to the industrial estate. In light of the changes, a date for the work has not yet been confirmed.

Jonathan Priest, from Coquet Enterprise Park-based North East Kayaks, said: “It is a good outcome and it is a positive step for the businesses.”

He added that talks are ongoing about installing permanent signage at the site.

Coun Scott Dickinson, the county council’s business chairman, said: “We have listened to traders and their concerns and established an alternative solution which we hope is a suitable compromise. There will be some disruption, however the site and access arrangements will be closely monitored by our officers.”

Would-be MP Julie Pörksen said the local Lib Dems raised the concerns with the council after she attended a meeting with the businesses last week. She said she was pleased the council has reconsidered the closure.