Traffic surveys to gauge merits of 20mph speed limit

The road into Detchant which is used by HGVs.
The road into Detchant which is used by HGVs.

Surveys are to be carried out to see whether 20mph speed limits on a road through a north Northumberland hamlet should be retained.

The road in question – the U34 in Detchant, near Belford – has long been the subject of complaints from residents due to its use by HGVs accessing the horse-bedding manufacturer Bedmax, which is based at Greymare Farm.

As a short-term measure, a temporary 20mph limit was introduced to enable other solutions to be considered, but this traffic regulation order is due to end on April 1 this year.

In November, residents made a request to Northumberland County Council’s north area committee that the 20mph limits become a permanent restriction.

A report to the committee’s January meeting, which takes place on Monday night in Embleton, recommends that speed surveys are arranged to gauge the impact of the current temporary 20mph limit and the results reported back with a recommendation on how to proceed.

The report explains that when altering speed limits, Northumberland County Council refers to national guidance produced by the Department for Transport (DfT).

It states: ‘A brief review of the guidance would suggest Detchant would struggle to qualify for a permanent 30mph limit, while it may be justifiable to reduce the limit on the U34 to 40mph given the use of this road by vulnerable users as part of a bridleway, NCN1 and the Sandstone Way’.

However, it adds: ‘While it appears Detchant may not meet the DfT criteria for a permanent 30mph limit, it may still be appropriate to implement a lower limit with the support of Northumbria Police’.