In a recent Gazette, your lead article was on the proposed wind turbine at Old Felton and the resultant danger to drivers at the notorious danger black-spot of the Guyzance crossroads.
You quoted comments from the applying firm Empirica in which they endeavoured to dismiss the dangers of driver distraction by some very selective quotations from an ancient (1992) report by Schreuder.
So selective were they that they avoided quoting a much more positive section of that same report which states: ‘However, Schreuder (1992) concludes that wind turbines, by their conspicuous and, at present, unusual nature will attract attention.
‘Therefore it is advised that windfarms are not located where the driver must pay particular attention to the driving task, such as at road intersections.’
A more up-to-date document, Network Strategy Spatial Planning Advice Note SP 04/07 states: ‘16. Windfarms should not be located where motorists need to pay particular attention to the drivng task, such as the immediate vicinity of road junctions.’
Emperica did not quote this!
The most up-to-date report on the distraction of drivers is from last Friday’s Daily Telegraph. It lists the Angel of the North as the second worst driver distraction in the country, after Stonehenge where over a quarter of all drivers passing are distracted and, of those, 13 per cent had either a crash or a near miss.
For the Angel, the distraction figure is 18 per cent. The Felton wind turbine, at 67 metres, is over three times the height of the 20 metre Angel.
To say that such an eye-catcher will not distract flies in the face of the most recent research, human nature and common sense. Quite simply, it is rubbish.
I call upon our councillors to prevent an increase in the accident rate at this notorious black-spot by refusing this application.