Calls for 20mph zone in Alnwick to be further considered by councillors

Calls are being made for a 20mph speed limit in Alnwick town centre and some of its main arterial routes.

The suggestion has been put forward by Alnwick Town Council’s sustainable travel working group as a way of making the town safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cllr Martin Swinbank said: “The main reason for having a 20mph limit is pedestrian and cyclist safety. It’s not just to make cars go slower. If you have roads that are a 20mph limit people are much safer.”

Cllr Geoff Watson felt it would avoid driver confusion if there was a single 20mph zone rather than a mixture of 20mph and 30mph zones.

Some of the Alnwick streets suggested for possible inclusion in a 20mph zone.

As well as the town centre, the 20mph zone could include the section of South Road between Barter Books and The Oaks, Wagonway Road, Prudhoe Street and Lisburn Street.

It could even stretch as far as the Sainsbury’s roundabout, although councillors acknowledged it may not get approval from the highways department given its proximity to the A1.

Cllr Swinbank said: “Safety issues on Wagonway Road have been raised for a number of years. A number of students walk to and from school along there and the footpaths are very narrow.

"A zebra crossing is going in which will help. A 20mph limit might also persuade more drivers to use South Road rather than Wagonway which has become more and more congested around school times.”

Market Street in Alnwick.

Northumberland County Council is assessing the need for a temporary 20mph limit in the town centre to aid pedestrian safety and improve social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The planning committee backed the suggestion and it will now go to full council for further consideration.

Members also want to see a footpath created on the bridle way between the rugby club and Duchess’s Community High School.

Willowburn Avenue.

"It’s very well used by students and, particularly in winter, is a muddy track,” said Cllr Swinbank.

Calls for the resurfacing of the footway on Alnmouth Road and creation of more pedestrian crossing points on Bondgate Within were also made.

The council’s top three priorities will be submitted to Northumberland County Council for possible inclusion in its Local Transport Plan for 2021/22.

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South Road.

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Wagonway Road.