Improvements sought for trial traffic scheme

The one-way system in Alnmouth. Picture by Jane Coltman
The one-way system in Alnmouth. Picture by Jane Coltman

A trio of traffic engineers who live in Alnmouth are to get together to try to draw up improvements to the trial measures in the village.

As previously reported, a raft of experimental traffic orders, including a clockwise one-way system, came into effect on Friday, December 9.

The following week, the parish-council meeting erupted into heated and angry exchanges as some members of the parish council and the public lambasted the new system.

The meeting did settle down after the initial flare-up, but it was clear that the loss of parking spaces is one of the main bones of contention, with many at the meeting saying they felt the measures had been ‘imposed’ by the county council, despite the consultation process.

Also, at that meeting, John Taylor, a retired traffic engineer, explained that he and two other traffic engineers living in the village had agreed to get together to try to work out some improvements.

The group will look again at the analysis and recommendations submitted earlier this year.

He offered to work with the parish council, although he did point out that when he submitted the initial report in July, it was not acted upon in that the parish council did not actually object to the scheme.

Mr Taylor’s view then and now is that the measures put forward are ‘overkill’ in terms of tackling the issues that the village does have.

His report, which was a response to the six plans exhibited by the county council in the village in July, says: ‘If we look at a better, long-term, overall solution for the village then the concept of ‘shared space’ would make a more harmonious design for Northumberland Street.’

His recommendations were to: Suggest that a significantly smaller scheme would meet the relatively few problems experienced throughout the year;

Request to work with NCC on detailed plans;

Prioritise the signs to direct traffic to car parks and around Marine Road rather than through the village;

Oppose the one-way and 20mph proposals;

Oppose the residents’ parking scheme (on Argyle Street);

Discuss public parking with local car-park operators;

Talk to the bus company about their plans;

Start the admittedly long campaign and fund-raising for a shared-space scheme as an experiment for the rest of Northumberland.

Not all of the response to the trial system has been negative with one person on Facebook saying: ‘Have driven through Alnmouth regularly for many years. Drove through for the first time today with the new ‘regime’. I personally feel it is a good solution and that it addresses many problems.’

Meanwhile, a resident, who wished to remain nameless, said: ‘I don’t think that the measures are anything other than a positive.’

He added: ‘Please don’t forget that the opponents are always going to be the most vocal. The silent majority aren’t. I did not go to the meeting as I knew it would get heated. I can only apologise for the behaviour of my fellow residents.’