Traffic calming measures come into force near Corbridge school

Coun. Melvyn Stone on St Helen's Lane with the plans for the traffic calming scheme.
Coun. Melvyn Stone on St Helen's Lane with the plans for the traffic calming scheme.

PARISH councillors in Corbridge are waging war against speeding drivers who ignore the rules of the road in the village.

After years of negotiations, a £37,000 scheme of traffic calming measures on a busy stretch of road near the village’s first school is nearing completion.

The scheme has seen the introduction of an enforceable 20 mph speed limit, along with rumble strips, speed cushions, and a build out on St Helen’s Lane.

“Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for drivers to build up to speeds of 40 or 50 mph along this stretch, which gets very busy between about 6.30am and 9am, and again between school leaving time and about 6pm,” explained vice-chairman of Corbridge Parish Council, Coun. Melvyn Stone.

“All of the local councillors have been working to address the road safety situation for the sake of the children and it’s good to finally see some results.”

It has been funded largely through dormant Section 106 money amounting to £30,000, which was set aside for improvements by the developers of The Chains housing estate in 2001, and was resurrected last year following pressure from former parish chairman, Coun. Maurice Hodgson.

It is being topped up with £4,000 from the parish council, with £3,000 from the members’ small schemes budget of former county councillor Jean Fearon making up the balance. A spokeswoman for Northumberland County Council said some Tarmac was still to be laid before work was completed.

And to ensure the new restrictions are adhered to, Coun. Stone has been working with officers from the neighbourhood policing team to secure regular visits from speed camera units and volunteers, who record vehicle speeds through the Community Speed Watch initiative.

To widen the reach of the drive to reduce speeding, the parish council has also agreed to invest between £10,000 and £12,000 on three new Vehicle Activated Traffic Signs (VATS), which will flash to remind drivers of the speed limit and collect data on average speed.

The signs are currently on order and will be rotated around sites including Aydon Road, Newcastle Road and Stagshaw Road near Corbridge Middle School.

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