Signs showing A697 accident rate proposed

A road-safety campaigner has suggested installing signs along the A697 to flag up accident figures on the notorious road, after yet another crash.

Thursday, 2nd February 2017, 11:00 am
The scene of the crash. Picture by Robbie Burn

On Monday, the southbound carriageway was closed after a collision involving two HGVs, north of the Powburn junction at Low Hedgeley. Both drivers suffered minor injuries.

Last Friday, part of the road was shut off to recover an HGV which had overturned the day before, two miles north of Longframlington. The driver was not seriously injured.

These incidents are the latest in a long line of accidents along the road, which in some cases have ended in fatalities.

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A few years ago, Northumberland County Council commissioned engineering firm AECOM to undertake a road-safety review of the A697, with a number of proposals to try to tackle the accident rate, including maintenance and speed-reduction measures,

Powburn is in the ward of Longhoughton County Councillor Kate Cairns and after Monday’s crash, she said that signage could help matters.

Coun Cairns, who has been fighting to eliminate blindspots from HGVs, said: “Ultimately to deal with the A697 perhaps we should revert to installing signage that states how many crashes there have been over a certain period, like we used to have on the A1.”