Safety measures to be explored on 'highly dangerous' Swinhoe crossroads in Northumberland

More than 1,000 residents have signed a petition calling for new safety measures on a notorious crossroads in Northumberland.
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There have been five known accidents at the four-way junction on the B1340 at Swinhoe, near Beadnell, with restricted visibility to the south described as the ‘major cause’ by petitioners.

They add that the increase in tourism along with larger, faster cars driven by drivers unfamiliar with the area has ‘heightened the risk of accidents’.

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The petition calls on Northumberland County Council to accept that realigning the road is the “only solution that will prevent accidents from occurring” and “motorists continuing to be injured or worse”.

The Swinhoe crossroads near Beadnell. Photo: Google Maps.The Swinhoe crossroads near Beadnell. Photo: Google Maps.
The Swinhoe crossroads near Beadnell. Photo: Google Maps.

Speaking at last week’s meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council, petitioner John Rhind called on councillors to take action.

He said: “You will not persuade parents that the junction will be made safe by additional or different road signs. This has been a known issue since the days of Belford District Council.

“Create a safer cross road that allows everyone using it to see everyone else. Don’t think about the cost of it, think of the cost of getting it right.”

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He added: “The creation of the combined authority is going to bring an allocation of capital funding for transport schemes of all kinds and action at this menace junction needs to be on the starting blocks.

"Members are urged to have the report resubmitted at their next meeting and for it to include a plan setting out who is going to do what and by when. The previous glacial, unspecified pace is not only unacceptable but incompatible with the accepted danger at Swinhoe.”

Highways officer Neil Snowdon said the council was looking at the issue, with £20,000 allocated to carry out design work.

Cllr Jeff Watson, who represents the Amble West ward, said it was important to move the project forward quickly.

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He said: “I do know this junction and it is a terrible junction. If you have a big car with a long nose your nose sticks out before you can see around the corner.

“I fully support this petition but what I don’t want to see is £20,000 this year for design work. I would like to see that go forward as quick as possible and then this year come back to cabinet to get a special allocation of funding.

“This is because I do think it is highly dangerous. It is one of those things we should do as a matter of urgency.

“This has been going on for all the time I have lived in Northumberland, more than 30 years, and it is about time we got to it.”

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Cllr Colin Hardy also acknowledged that the junction was on a major tourist route to and from the Bamburgh and Seahouses areas.

Chairman Gordon Castle also urged council officers to give priority to work on realigning the road junction.

Mr Rhind said afterwards: “Whilst the outcome of the meeting was a step in the right direction, petitioners will not be satisfied until they see the realigned junction taking shape.”