Concerns over bottleneck at entrance to High Newton

Some of the double yellow lines in High Newton-by-the-Sea.
Some of the double yellow lines in High Newton-by-the-Sea.

Councillors are concerned about a bottleneck at the entrance to High Newton, following the introduction of double-yellow lines.

There are concerns about one aspect of the new scheme to relieve congestion – a section without double-yellow lines at the entrance to the village which is causing a bottleneck.

At the latest meeting of Newton-by-the-Sea Parish Council, it was reported that the gap is large enough for five cars and Coun Bob Foster-Smith pointed out that its position means that it’s a hazard for people walking into the village from the new car park.

Coun Victor Thompson said: “Before, the whole village was blocked, now it’s just that section.”

Earlier in the meeting, the area’s county councillor, Wendy Pattison, said: “It’s a 12-month experimental order and I didn’t think it would be perfect – that’s exactly what the order was for.”

Members heard that it could be two to three months before the new speed limits are in place – 40mph from the B1340 junction down to the current 30mph sign and then 20mph through the village.

It was also agreed to speak to Arriva about the X18 service coming into the village again now that the double-yellow lines are in place.

In other news from the council, parishioners in Newton-by-the-Sea may pay less in 2018/19 if the council opts to reduce its precept.

Members had initial discussion on the precept – the parish section of the council-tax bill – for the next financial year and there were proponents for the same sum as this year.

However, Coun John Roper was concerned that the council currently has a balance of around £3,500, while Coun Bob Foster-Smith said it should be this year’s precept minus the contingency funds.

It was agreed to make a decision at the January meeting based on detailed figures from this year.

Members were told that the Embleton Joint Burial Committee had heard a proposal to set up a Friends of Spitalford Cemetery group, which would involve volunteers going in to help tidy and maintain the facility.

Wendy Pattison, in her county councillor’s report, mentioned transport for post-16 students, saying: “There’s going to be definite improvements to that service.

“I will report back when a final decision is made, but I think people are going to be pleased.”

The word from Northumberland County Council is that the proposed improvements to the public toilets at Low Newton were to start after the relevant team of workers is no longer busy with grass-cutting. At last Wednesday’s meeting, Coun John Roper said that nothing had happened yet, so ‘we’ll just have to watch this space’.