Village residents make rat run demand

Safety fears have been raised by residents in a North Tyneside village as hundreds of motorists are using it as a rat run when commuting to work.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 8:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 3:50 pm
Benton Road. Picture from Google.

And they are calling for North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn, to go to West Allotment and see for herself what is happening.

They have asked for a meeting with her as they have regularly recorded between 500 and 600 cars using Benton Road and Holyfields between 8am and 9am to avoid queues on the A191 on their way to Cobalt Business Park.

A total of 868 was recorded in this time period on a weekday morning last month.

The roads in these estates do not have any crossings, so parents and children walking to nearby Holystone Primary School have to wait for gaps to cross them.

North Tyneside Council says it is carrying out traffic surveys in the area and ‘considering several options to resolve the issue’.

Resident John Walley said: “Cars coming through our village as a rat run has been an issue in the past, but it has been much worse since the works to improve the Holystone roundabout and provide extra lanes on the A191/A186 approaches were completed as more vehicles are coming this way.

“Many of them are going faster than the 20mph speed limit and we’re concerned that there will be an accident with parents and children having to find a spot to cross the road.

“Although far from perfect, we have suggested measurers to help the situation such as a no access except for village restriction, a chicane and/or better 20mph signage.

“A number of residents have emailed the Mayor. We would like her to come out of her office to meet with parents and see the rat run issue for herself.”

Phil Scott, head of environment, housing and leisure at North Tyneside Council, said: “We would like to reassure residents that we are aware of drivers cutting through West Allotment and we are working hard to address the issue.

“We continue to monitor the area and we are carrying out traffic surveys in a number of places to obtain accurate data regarding the scale of the issue and capture the speeds of vehicles using this route.

“We are considering several options to resolve the issue and we will be holding a consultation event early in the New Year to present the findings of the data collection exercise and share mitigation plans with residents.

“For those using this route to avoid traffic into Cobalt Business Park, we request that drivers are considerate of residents living in West Allotment.”

A council spokesman added that the works at the Silverlink roundabout mean many drivers are using the A191 to avoid queuing on the A19, but Highways England is on course to complete this work by spring 2019 and ‘we expect some traffic will revert to the A19 route once the junction is open’.