Drivers’ delight as speed bumps face the axe

MP Grahame Morris with Seaham taxi drivers Mel Malloy and Graham Parks examining the controversial speed cushions on North Terrace.

MP Grahame Morris with Seaham taxi drivers Mel Malloy and Graham Parks examining the controversial speed cushions on North Terrace.

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UNWANTED humps are set to be bumped off.

The £80,000 speed humps which replaced chicanes along North Road and North Terrace in Seaham last March are set to be axed.

The measures provoked outrage with 740 people joining an online campaign calling for them to be removed.

Attracting dozens of complaints, businesses branded the street the “craziest road on the planet.”

The town’s five Labour county councillors are to hold talks with highways chiefs next week to discuss the removal of the section of humps between East Shore Village and Tempest Road.

They are proposing the 30mph limit is dropped to 20mph instead, and the speed of traffic to be monitored to see if the change works.

They have suggested the section of humps along North Terrace, between Tempest Road and North Railway Street, remain in place to slow traffic where pedestrians regularly cross near to the bars, cafes and ice cream parlour.

Councillor Eddie Bell, who sits on Durham County Council and Seaham Town Council, denied the move was a U-turn.

He said money would not have been wasted on the scheme, as the plastic structures which make up the humps will be used elsewhere in the county.

He said: “Six months ago the highways people were saying ‘Let’s trial it and see what happens in six months and we’ll review it.’

“We don’t think they have been very complimentary to Seaham and as such they should be taken out.

“We’re looking at it as residents of Seaham as well, and we think that they have been over-zealous with the size of the humps and they’re too high.”

Highways officers had said they wanted to leave the humps in for a year to assess their impact on the area.

They said the traffic-calming measures met specifications and do not pose a risk if people travel at an appropriate speed.

Many drivers said they avoided the seafront or used a route through East Shore Village to reach the town centre instead.

Among those who called for the removal of the humps was taxi boss Mel Malloy.

He said: “It’s very good news. They are just too severe. A lot of people aren’t coming in now because of them.”

Councillors representing the town are due to discuss the proposals at a meeting with officers on Wednesday.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham