RESIDENTS in Ponteland are displeased with the use of local roads running through the area.

Alan Mee, a resident representing approximately 30 households in Callerton Lane, North Road, and Berwick Hill Road, said these roads are being used by HGV and logging vehicles to travel through the village. Residents have campaigned against Northumberland County Council Highways since 2017.

"In April 2021, one of our group discovered by chance, the Timber Trades Forum:  Minutes of Meeting August 12, 2014, at Egger Plant, Hexham. The decision at this meeting, taken with no representation from Ponteland Town Council and local residents, was that these roads be given over to the Timber Trades Forum for full usage of their heavy laden logging wagons," Alan said. 

READ MORE: Councillor offers to replace missing defibrillator

READ MORE: Calls for potholes to be repaired at park

"We requested a 'Full Reversal' of the Logging Wagon agreement made in August 2014. 12 months later, those Logging Wagons, with legal rights, continue to use and abuse our local roads, passing in close proximity to schools, care home and residential properties," he added. Residents request HGV traffic remains fully on 'A' graded roads, thus avoiding usage of local roads.

A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council said: "We have been involved in long and detailed correspondence with this resident over many months to try and address their concerns and explain why Berwick Hill Road and North Road can still be used by HGV's."

"In considering whether additional measures such as a weight restriction would be appropriate, we've carefully considered the road's function and use, existing traffic levels and the availability of alternative routes."

"Taking everything into account, as well as the road safety record and the impacts of implementing a weight restriction, it is considered this should not be implemented at the present time. This will be kept under review."

"We are committed to improving the situation at the Berwick Hill and North Road junction and reduce the number of HGV's, particularly logging wagons, using Berwick Hill Road."

Residents have communicated with Chief Executive Officer of Northumberland County Council, Mrs Daljit Lally. Alan says they have asked Mrs Lally to meet with residents to discuss the matter.

On these roads, the HGV's navigate single narrow footways and two recognised 'Tight Pinch Points'. Alan says elderly residents and young children use these roads, which could lead to an accident. 

"Further dialogue will also take place with industry bodies, businesses and hauliers avoiding this route, while a review will also be carried out of the existing signs and road markings at the narrow section of the Berwick Hill Road to see if any further improvements can be made," the council spokesperson added.