Safety concerns raised about traffic calming measures outside Northumberland school

Safety concerns have been raised about a new road layout designed to slow traffic as it passes a school.

Monday, 20th December 2021, 4:19 pm
Updated Monday, 20th December 2021, 4:32 pm
Concerns have been raised about a new road layout outside Hipsburn Primary School.
Concerns have been raised about a new road layout outside Hipsburn Primary School.

A short section of the B1338 has been narrowed as part of a traffic calming scheme outside Hipsburn Primary School but members of Alnmouth Parish Council are unhappy with the result.

There have been reports of drivers failing to see the narrowed road surface and ending up in the soft verge.

Cllr Shaun Whyte, chairman, said: “Technically it’s in Lesbury parish but Alnmouth residents are concerned about it.

The muddy soft verge where vehicles have gone through is clearly visible. Pictures: Simon Walford

"It seems to be taking a long time to complete and unless it's radically changed we think it’s probably not terribly well designed, to put it mildly.

"At the moment it’s not working,” he added. “There is plenty of evidence from the tyre tracks in the mud opposite the build-out to tell you that people are missing it.

"It’s actually counter-productive because if you see a car coming towards you, you actually accelerate to get through the gap.”

The matter has been taken up by Cllr Martin Swinbank, member for Alnwick ward on Northumberland County Council, who revealed that further works are planned.

"I’ve raised this at a high level with two concerns,” he said. “One is the safety aspect in the short term. A review of the road safety was undertaken and it’s been decided that bollards are going to go in. My understanding is that they will be directly opposite the build-out where the problem is.”

Cllr Whyte hoped road markings could be laid down soon to re-emphasise the one-way nature of the new layout to approaching drivers.

Cllr Simon Walford added: “I am pleased the sea side of the road is going to be sorted out because that verge is now very soft and dangerous but the other thing is that, at the moment, there are just plastic cones on top of the built-out chicane. Most chicanes have a lit box on them so you can see them. The first thing that went wrong before the cones were put there is that people just drove straight over the top of it.

"There’s been one accident involving a truck and lots of people saying they nearly got caught out there.”

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