Safety improvements agreed for crossroads

The New Moor House crossroads in the snow. Picture by Margaret Whittaker
The New Moor House crossroads in the snow. Picture by Margaret Whittaker

Work to try to improve the safety of a notorious crossroads has been agreed, after a car ploughed into a family’s home close by.

Earlier this month, the Gazette reported how a Vauxhall Corsa crashed into New Moor House, located at the crossroads of the same name.

The car crashed into the house.

The car crashed into the house.

Helen Wyld, who lives at the property, said her two young daughters had a lucky escape and called for more to be done to improve safety at the site.

It prompted councillors to look at what could be done and a number of new safety measures have been agreed for the crossroads, where the B6341 road from Alnwick to Rothbury meets the A697.

Work will include improvements to the existing road markings, cutting back of vegetation to improve the visibility of existing traffic signs, as well as cleaning existing channels and gullies. These works are expected to be complete by the end of March.

Following the recent collision and site investigations, further measures are proposed on the B6341 side-road approach to the crossroads from Rothbury, which includes new signage and road markings.

The new safety measures have been agreed as part of the 2015/16 Local Transport Plan programme. Coun Ian Swithenbank, the county council’s Cabinet member for local services, said: “This crossroads is well-known to those of us who drive in Northumberland and has been the scene of a number of incidents over the years.

“While road safety improvements have been carried out in the past, it was certainly time to reassess what more could be done and it is welcome news that we can carry out some remedial work over the coming weeks to hopefully further protect drivers and local residents.”

The crossroads are in the Longhoughton ward of Coun Kate Cairns, who said: “I am pleased that officers responded promptly to the call for urgent action. Councillors whose wards cover the A697 are working together to cut the risk posed along this hazardous stretch.”

The crash happened just outside Coun Steven Bridgett’s Rothbury ward. He said: “I am pleased to see that the county council is acting on concerns that are shared by a number of members of the council whose divisions border the crossroads and hopefully these improvements will go some way to alleviating some of the problems.

“I hope the county council will monitor the situation at the crossroads and look at any additional improvements if they are required in the future.”

Alnwick coun Gordon Castle added: “This is a good example of councillors working together. The crash showed the junction’s dangers and these improvements need to be made.”