Residents get hump over plan

Durham county councillor Joan Maslin, whose plans for speed humps in Durham Way, Peterlee, have been rejected by residents.
Durham county councillor Joan Maslin, whose plans for speed humps in Durham Way, Peterlee, have been rejected by residents.
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A COUNCILLOR’S 20-year campaign to make a road safer has hit the brakes – after residents lobbied against the plans.

For almost all her political career Coun Joan Maslin has led the calls for action to slow down motorists on Durham Way, in Peterlee.

But now she has bowed to public pressure and called for a speed bumps plan to be shelved after an outcry from residents, which included a petition voicing objections.

They are against plans drawn up by Durham County Council’s highways experts which would have seen 21 road humps installed in the road, which leads to more than 20 cul-de-sacs and streets.

Coun Maslin, who represented the town on District of Easington Council before being elected as a county councillor when the authorities merged almost two years ago, says she has reacted to people’s views.

She is planning further talks with engineers to discuss alternatives to the £23,000 scheme they have drafted up.

Residents have already suggested they would prefer flashing warning lights or chicanes to speed humps.

Coun Maslin, who lives in Sunny Blunts, said: “For years and years I’ve been trying to get calming measures on Durham Way, but there were never the funds available.

“But since the new unitary authority came in and I became a county councillor I’ve been given £25,000 to spend on my area, so I saved some money from last year and added it to some from this year and asked the engineers at Durham to come up with a scheme.

“But when I consulted I was taken aback – the majority of people don’t want it because there are 21 speed cushions.

“People are not very happy, so I’ve put a notice up in the shops and the community centre in Oakerside to reassure the residents that I’m not going to support this and going back to engineers. I’m going to ask them for a better scheme.”

Coun Maslin hopes the highways officers will be able to put together a new plan in coming months.

She added: “There’s been a few accidents caused by speed on that road and people have been asking me if we can still get some calming measures in.”