Highways officers to look at safety issues at Swinhoe junction in Northumberland

Safety experts are to investigate potential measures to reduce the risk of accidents at a north Northumberland junction.
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More than 800 people have now signed a petition calling for safety improvements at the Swinhoe crossroads on the B1340, near Chathill.

Highways officers at Northumberland County Council have agreed to look at additional solutions to improve road safety.

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A local farmer is also prepared to consider selling the small corner of the field required to realign the junction and improve safety so long as the new layout does not restrict the movement of farm vehicles.

The Swinhoe junction.The Swinhoe junction.
The Swinhoe junction.

A site visit is planned next week by Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan who has indicated her ‘full support for the plan to improve safety’.

Petition organiser, John Rhind, said: “The current “signs and lines” plan which was published as long ago as July 2022, was tried 100 years ago by the then Belford Rural District Council and has clearly failed. What is needed now is a radical rethink.

“As for the council’s commitment to reconsider the existing plan, the review needs to be done immediately and in parallel with the implementation of the current plan.

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“A ‘wait and see’ policy that continues to gamble with people’s lives will not do.”

He added: “The highways department has only supplied information on incidents involving personal injury covering the last five years. There appear to be no records anywhere of earlier accidents or those involving collisions where no one was hurt or the many near misses.

"What is needed is for the department to change gear and urgently publish an action plan for the review. That plan needs to include target dates for evidence to be gathered on traffic volumes, speeds and flows; the analysis of that evidence and the implementation plan for the resultant redesign to be implemented.

"This evidence will, I am sure, confirm what the 800 plus supporters of the petition already know. The current signs and lines proposals do not deal with the visibility and speed issues which are the causes of accidents.”

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The petition’s aims have also been supported by parish councils in Beadnell, Bamburgh and North Sunderland.

The petition deadline has been extended until December 2.

To sign it visit https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Councillors/Involve.aspx

A paper petition can also be signed at The Hub, Seahouses.