Action plan after ‘rat run’ concerns

North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor has agreed a plan to address a group of residents’ concerns about the safety of children travelling to school from their homes.

Friday, 1st March 2019, 7:33 pm
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 7:37 pm
Ward councillor Brian Burdis and school crossing patrol officer Michael Massingham with local residents in West Allotment.

After consulting with people living in West Allotment, who said that the village was being used as a rat run, Norma Redfearn has announced that a temporary bus lane will be installed on Benton Road between the junctions of Murrayfields and Holyfields – the route used by parents and schoolchildren.

This will operate for a limited period during morning rush hour and residents in Murrayfields will be exempt from enforcement if they use the bus lane in order to help them get out of their estate.

A number of other safety measures are also being introduced following work carried out by North Tyneside Council.

Mrs Redfearn said: “We have worked hard to understand the problems and listened to the concerns raised by local people.

“Residents have told us overwhelmingly that they would like a bus lane installed along the road where the inconsiderate rat-running is happening.

“We have also worked closely with the local school to give pupils important training to help them stay safe and I would urge drivers to do their bit and please take care on the roads.”

As part of the Mayor’s plan, and in response to community concerns about red light jumping on the Holystone roundabout, the council has reviewed and changed traffic signal times and increased the length of time allowed for pedestrians to cross as a result.

A school crossing patrol officer – commonly known as a lollipop person – has been temporarily introduced along Benton Road to help children travel towards school safely.

Michael Massingham, who has been relocated from outside the primary school where a zebra crossing has recently been installed, will remain in their new position until the bus lane is in place.

And additional pedestrian crossing training is being given to pupils at Holystone Primary School through the council’s GoSmarter initiative.