Accident leads to call for improvements to Alnwick road

Victoria Terrace in Alnwick.' Picture by Jane Coltman
Victoria Terrace in Alnwick.' Picture by Jane Coltman

Calls have been made for traffic improvements along an Alnwick road after a collision last week.

Emergency services were called to Wagonway Road, opposite Victoria House Fish and Chip Shop, on Friday at 8.35am, after a 13-year-old and a Ford Focus collided.

Fortunately the teen was not seriously injured. But the incident led to calls for something to be done about the volume of traffic along the road.

The stretch from its junction with Prudhoe Street to the roundabout at Sainsbury’s has seen an increase in traffic – both vehicles and pedestrians – since the Duchess’s Community High School moved to its new site.

After news of the accident last week, readers commented on Facebook about their concerns.

Annie May Edgar said: “The traffic along that road IS a problem. A couple of weeks ago a dog was knocked over and yesterday a child... not entirely blaming the drivers as clearly something needs to be done, it’s absolutely grid-locked some mornings with buses and cars trying to make their way along to the school and cars parked on both sides of the road. Needs some double yellow lines or speed bumps, in my opinion.”

And Lee Collis said: “The road has been used a shortcut by those avoiding the South Road roadworks. The traffic coming along what is essentially a residential street is ridiculous just to save a few seconds. With the new shops now under construction I hope the council consider reinstating the traffic calming measures that were removed.”

Alnwick town and county councillor Gordon Castle said that measures have already been put forward for the area, which include a crossing by the Co-op.

He said that double yellow lines were proposed for the east side of the road between Greensfield Avenue and the roundabout, but these were rejected by residents.

He added: “Much of the greatly-increased recent traffic was because of drivers trying to avoid the water company’s traffic lights on South Road. This may now reduce.

“The Co-op crossing has scored very highly in the long-term programme for next year’s highways projects and I expect it to be announced as successful when the LTP decisions are announced in February 2019. We must wait for a proper safety audit before rushing into anything based on anecdotal comments. The audit will include road cables to measure vehicle speeds, numbers and weight and mounted cameras to view pedestrian numbers and behaviour. I personally support a pedestrian refuge between the pavements at the bottom of Greensfield Avenue, but the audit should indicate the usage and confirm if it is justified.

“One thing that should come out of this immediately is a strong message to children from school and parents about road safety and their vulnerability. Children tend to cross where it suits them, not where the crossing points are.”

Coun Castle added that he was thankful that the teenager wasn’t seriously hurt and said: “I am also pressing for zoned flashing lights signifying 20mph at school times, here and near St Paul’s RCVA on South Road, where Coun Robbie Moore and I have also asked for a road safety audit, as there are traffic and crossing concerns there.”