Call for action over disappearing road markings in Alnwick

Town councillors have called for faded white road markings in Alnwick to be treated as a higher priority.

Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 11:50 pm
Hotspur Tower, Alnwick

Concerns had been raised last month by Coun Martin Harrington about the disappearing lines on either side of the Hotspur Tower and at the war memorial, warning that it could lead to an accident.

Northumberland County Council has indicated that such works would effectively have to wait their turn because of the limited funds available.

However, it has doubled the level of funding for signs and lines in its draft Local Transport Plan from £160,000 to £320,000.

Hotspur Tower, Alnwick

Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services, said: "We're well aware of the importance of having road signs and markings in good condition and budget is set aside for this each year.

“We routinely undertake the replacement of signs and lines through our general revenue maintenance activities as well as reinstating these when undertaking larger capital road resurfacing projects, albeit there can be a delay on the lines being relaid as it is necessary to allow the new road surface to 'bed-in' before the lines are applied.

“After further discussions we've agreed to double the planned budget for the next financial year to £320,000 to ensure a comprehensive scheme of maintenance, repair and replacement across the county."

Further concerns were raised by members of Alnwick Town Council at the January meeting.

Coun Martin Swinbank said: “Surely, like a pothole, a white line is a road safety issue and should be prioritised as such? If users of the road aren’t aware of where the lines are they don’t know where they are supposed to be on the road.”

Coun Harrington added: “I understand that finance is an issue but we have to make the (county) council aware of the problem. We need to keep at them. if you drive anywhere on a back road between Alnwick, Alnmouth and Shilbottle the lines don’t exist. I do believe the town centre needs to be looked at, even if it’s just the stretch from The Oaks to the Market Place.”

Coun George Mavin said: “I think we should, as a town council, write to say this needs to be a higher priority right across Northumberland.”

However, Coun Gordon Castle said: “My view is that potholes are a lot more dangerous than faded white lines. The county council recognises that funding for signs and lines is low and are looking to increase it but it’s a balancing act.”