Council plans to cut off rat-run for drivers

Fencing is to be installed to prevent vehicles from rat-running through an area of green space in Blyth.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 13th August 2020, 8:00 am
The area used as a ‘rat-run’ in Crofton Grange, Blyth.
The area used as a ‘rat-run’ in Crofton Grange, Blyth.

A petition calling for action was signed by 56 residents in relation to the land between Stardale Avenue and Crofton Grange estate.

There are three primary access points for vehicles that are driving across the grass, which is used by dog walkers, playing children and students going to the high school.

The entrance at Hedgehope Walk is already fenced off, while the accesses at Wooler Grange on the Crofton Grange side and Stardale Avenue remain open.

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Blyth Town Council pays Northumberland County Council to cut the grass, but neither authority owns the land.

Paul Jones, the county council’s director of local services, told the authority’s petitions committee that the ownership of the land is not clear at this stage, although it is definitely in private hands and likely to be linked to one of the housing developers.

He added that Persimmon, which built Crofton Grange, where many of the vehicles using the shortcut come from, had been contacted, but the council had ‘not secured any positive action from them’.

Therefore, it was agreed that the county council would install 50 metres of birdsmouth fencing at Wooler Grange, at a cost of around £2,250, as it ‘would help significantly reduce the inappropriate vehicle movements across the green space, making it safer for the public and enable the council to avoid having to undertake annual maintenance repairs for public safety’.

On top of this, the local ward member, Coun Grant Davey, has offered to pay £4,850 from his local improvement schemes allowance, for 120 metres of fencing near Stardale Avenue.

“We would welcome that because it would close off both ends,” Mr Jones said. “That would be a better solution all round.”

Coun Glen Sanderson, the cabinet member for local services, added: “This is something that does need to be dealt with. People who drive over the grass not only put lives at risk, but they make a terrible mess.”