It is often forgotten that apart from the usual activity expected in a community of its size, Rothbury is at the centre of a huge county in which it is the only town of its size without a bypass.
It is a crossroads for large numbers of HGVs criss-crossing the county with the products of our forests, farms and quarries, not to mention thousands of tourists passing between our many ‘honeypots’.
Their polite, good-humoured ability to live with Rothbury’s traffic and limited amount of parking space, and their widespread respect for elderly pedestrians, is a credit to the people of Coquetdale.
Over the years, various suggestions have been made to improve a complex situation, but those which address one issue, such as an extra pedestrian crossing, tend to create another by, for example, removing some of the precious parking space, which is so vital to Rothbury’s shops and businesses.
We are never going to have a bypass, but one relatively cheap improvement without any negative side-effects would be a 20mph speed limit in the town centre, backed by radar speed signs.
By halving stopping distances, elderly pedestrians and children would be much safer and traffic noise would be far lower. Through-traffic could surely cope with an extra few seconds on journeys.