Plan for a new speed limit in village is halted

Harbottle village
Harbottle village

A proposal to introduce a 20mph speed limit in a north Northumberland village has been withdrawn, after a parish council said it could not support the plans.

The Northumberland County Council scheme was earmarked for Harbottle, following a petition signed by 71 residents in the parish and 31 living in neighbouring areas.

Concerned locals were calling for the introduction of an official 30mph speed limit through the village. The current limit is 60mph.

As part of a county-council policy to introduce – where possible – a 20mph restriction outside schools, it was considered that, given the location of Harbottle First School, it made sense to introduce a 20mph zone in the village.

Rothbury county councillor Steven Bridgett asked for feedback on the proposal and said that if there were no major issues, he would like to give the Highways Department the go-ahead to proceed.

But, after a parish council meeting on Friday – attended by residents – the group said it could not support the scheme.

The parish council said that there is not universal support for the plans and called for a public meeting – to be attended by police, Highways Officer and National Park Authority representatives – to ensure any proposal had whole village support.

Parish council chairman Simon Kenny said: “The view of the parish council, having taking further soundings in the village and as a result of the meeting, is that we cannot support the current proposal. Views in the village are mixed.”

He added that ‘it was difficult most of the time to do more than 30mph’ and felt a revamp of existing 25mph military advisory signs could resolve some of the issues.

He raised concerns about the lack of footpath between the village and two nearby car parks and called for some sort of action.

Coun Bridgett said that the parish council is there to represent the views of the residents and after its objection, the scheme has been withdrawn and resources will be deployed elsewhere. He said the county council did not have the time or resources to meet associated requests by the parish council.