NORTHUMBERLAND County Council has agreed to put signs on Wylam Bridge to encourage cyclists to dismount, following pressure from the parish council.

Coun. Jos Joures, the former chairman of Wylam Parish Council, had hit out at the council for failing to respond to concerns raised by residents.

Signs telling cyclists to dismount before using the road bridge in Wylam were removed by the authority in 2018.

New signs painted on to the road were felt to be misleading, encouraging cyclists to use the footpath to the side.

Coun. Joures said he felt he had been ignored by the county council.

He said: “The council came and did a video survey, which must have cost as much as putting the signs back anyway.

“It showed a cyclist crossed the bridge every 4.7 minutes, which it said wasn’t an issue.

“I then wrote to the council’s leader, Peter Jackson, as chairman of Wylam Parish Council, because one every 4.7 minutes is an issue. I never got a reply.

“Various residents were making a fuss about it, but the county council just said it did a survey and there was no issue.

“It’s very frustrating being a locally elected person and trying to get a response from the county council.”

Coun. Peter Jackson has been contacted for comment, but local member Karen Quinn said the county council did respond via letter to concerns raised with the leader.

She added: “The safety of both pedestrians and cyclists on the bridge is my absolute priority, and in view of concerns I have again corresponded at the highest level within Northumberland County Council to ask what can be done to move this matter forwards. I will, as ever, update residents once I receive a response."

A spokeswoman for the council said temporary signs would be going up in shortly. She said: “Given ongoing concerns, and the current need for social distancing, we are going to put up some temporary signs at the ends of the bridge.

“For the longer term, we are investigating the use of some simple signage, such as ‘cyclists join carriageway’, in the area of the station car park, and will liaise with Northern Rail.

"This will depend on Network Rail’s agreement however, and may take time as it is not fully within the council’s control.

"Cyclists are reminded it is against the law to ride a bicycle on any pavement which has not been designated as a cycleway.”