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Mayor acts on residents' road safety concerns

North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor has listened to residents’ concerns about a busy road used as a rat-run.

After meeting with local people in West Allotment, Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE has agreed a plan to address their concerns about the safety of children travelling to school from their homes.

Having consulted with residents, a temporary bus lane will be installed on Benton Road between the junctions of Murrayfields and Holyfields – the route used by schoolchildren – to address the rat-running issue there.

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 the council.

The Elected Mayor 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.

“The safety of our residents is one of my top priorities and this is another example of our commitment to being a listening and caring council which works better for its residents.”

Also 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.

Nearby, the council is putting in a new pedestrian crossing along Station Road in Backworth to assist pupils coming from the Moorside estate to Backworth Park Primary School.

Additional pedestrian crossing training is being given to 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.

Stephen Baines, head teacher, said: “Our school crossing patrol officer Michael is totally committed to ensuring the safety of the pupils at Holystone and we greatly appreciate his efforts in making our local environment safer for all.”

The school crossing patrol and Go Smarter services are provided by Capita for the council.