Work has started to introduce new road safety measures on a route being used as a rat-run.
North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE, agreed a package of safety measures after meeting with residents in West Allotment and listening to their concerns 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. Access to West Allotment from the A191 via Holyfields will remain unaffected.
The Elected Mayor 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 and this is another example of our commitment to being a listening and caring council which works better for its residents.”
The Mayor’s plan will also address 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.
Nearby, the council is also putting in a new pedestrian crossing along Station Road in Backworth to assist pupils coming from the Moorside estate to Backworth Park Primary School.
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.