While I am a fan of cycle racing and I’m sure the Tour of Britain race was good for the area, I consider that traffic control was very poorly managed.
My wife and I attempted to visit Cragside House on Monday morning from our holiday base in Bardon Mill, but could not find our way around the road closures.
We asked for help from a policeman at a roadblock, but he said explaining an alternative route was too complicated. I asked where the diversion signs were and he just shrugged.
We decided to go to Alnwick Castle instead, only to be met with same difficulties.
I asked an ambulance transport driver if she could give us directions around the road closures, only to find that she was in the same situation as us.
She explained that she was trying to get her passengers to Alnwick and we were welcome to follow her as she would be going past the castle entrance.
Despite her local knowledge, we still had to turn around and find alternative routes twice more due to road closures.
There were no advance warnings that the road ahead was closed and no diversions in place, meaning we had to double back on ourselves for a not inconsiderable distance.
If we hadn’t have been following the ambulance we would simply have given up and gone back home, wasting several hours and a few gallons of petrol.
However, the ever patient ambulance driver finally managed to find a route to Alnwick, and hopefully her patients could still be seen by whatever medical specialist they had an appointment with.
The castle and gardens were great and we were very grateful to the ambulance driver for helping us to get there, but surely more consideration should have been given to other road users.