A permanent 20mph limit is being proposed on the small rural road through the hamlet of Detchant, in a bid to deal with ongoing concerns.
The proposal would also see a 40mph buffer zone prior to the 20mph limit ‘to soften the transition from an unrestricted speed limit (60mph) to 20mph’.
A report to Northumberland County Council’s north area committee on Monday night explained that the proposal, to include signage, was subject to the scheme being funded by Bedmax. The successful horse-bedding manufacturer, which is based at Greymare Farm, accessed via the U34, has been at odds with residents over a number of years due to the number of HGVs using the road.
The approval of a planning application in May last year offered an opportunity to implement a traffic management plan to manage the number and times of HGV movements, create of four passing places and establish a liaison group to discuss issues.
A temporary 20mph limit has been in place in Detchant and the county council report refers to a ‘positive impact’ based on speed surveys in April this year when compared to data from 2014.
The report continues: ‘Work is ongoing with the development of a new policy for 20mph limits for Northumberland that can be applied to rural villages.
‘As part of the new policy, a buffering system will need to be applied to soften the transition from an unrestricted speed limit (60mph) to 20mph. It is likely that this policy will suggest having 300m of 40mph on all approaches to 20mph.
‘It is unlikely that this policy will be adopted in time to be applied in this case, but following discussions with Coun Woodman (ward councillor for the Belford area), it has been suggested that the U34 through Detchant is used as a trial site using 300 metres of 40mph limit as a buffer on all approaches to the village and a 20mph limit introduced for the village itself.’