Work has started to introduce new road safety measures on a route being used as a rat run.
Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE agreed a package of measures after meeting with residents in West Allotment who were concerned about a high volume of vehicles using their village as a short cut.
Now work is underway to install a temporary ‘bus gate’ on Benton Road between the junctions of Murrayfields and Holyfields – a route used by schoolchildren – to address the rat-running issue there.
Access will be restricted to vehicles entering the estate by this route between 8am and 9am, Monday to Friday. Residents in Murrayfields will be exempt from enforcement if they are leaving the estate.
It will be enforced using a camera and any unauthorised vehicle passing through it will be liable to receive a penalty charge notice.
Mrs Redfearn said: “We have worked hard to understand the problems and listened to the concerns raised by local people.
“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.
“The safety of our residents is one of my top priorities.”
The Mayor’s plan will also address concerns about red light jumping on the Holystone roundabout by changing traffic signal times and increasing the time allowed for pedestrians to cross.
Nearby, the council is also putting in a new pedestrian crossing along Station Road in Backworth.
There will be additional pedestrian crossing training for pupils at Holystone Primary School through the council’s GoSmarter initiative.
And 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.
The officer, 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.
The school crossing patrol and Go Smarter services are provided by Capita for the council.