Call for action to cut speed on 'race track' road through Wooler

Calls have been made for measures to reduce traffic speeds on the A697 through Wooler.

Monday, 24th August 2020, 10:46 am

Concerns have been raised by Wooler Parish Council about the speed of drivers on the key route between the North East and Scotland.

"It’s a race track going down there,” said Cllr Mark Napier. “Any signage should be on the other (south) side of the railway bridge warning of the 30mph coming up.

"Some of them are going 60-70mph as they come over the bridge and then braking hard.”

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The A697 in Wooler.

The discussion followed an email from a local resident calling for speed deterrents to be considered, as in villages such as Powburn, Longframlington and Longhorsley.

He raised particular concerns about the number of pedestrians crossing the road from Riverside Leisure Park at Bridge End and called for a safe crossing to be created.

Cllr Mark Mather, chairman, said: “We’ve done a bit of digging on this. We were aware on the last stage of planning consent for the extension of the caravan site that they were to ‘provide a controlled pedestrian crossing facility on the A697 including any preliminary investigations and assessments’.

"After having a conversation with them, it appears they have been waiting for Northumberland County Council to do the work. They have been paid to do the work and nothing has happened.”

It was agreed to contact the county council’s highways department for an update.

The parish council will also request extra 30mph warnings to be painted on the roads.

Councillors also want the solar-powered speed warning signs put on to streetlights.

"They have been a complete waste of time and money because the county council put them in the wrong position under trees,” said Cllr Mather.

Meanwhile, it was revealed that plans for a path between Wooler and Haugh Head have been included in the Local Transport Plan for 2020/21. It is currently at the feasibility and design stage.

However, parish councillors were disappointed to learn that requests for the widening of Ramsey Lane and the realignment of the B6348 Chatton bridge, both to allow two-way traffic, had been rejected due to the cost.

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