Safety work on Durham death road

Tragic teenager Brandon Nugent, 13, from Gilesgate, Durham, who was killed in a notorious accident blackspot while crossing a busy dual carriageway on the A690 in Durham. He is pictured with mum Madeline.
Tragic teenager Brandon Nugent, 13, from Gilesgate, Durham, who was killed in a notorious accident blackspot while crossing a busy dual carriageway on the A690 in Durham. He is pictured with mum Madeline.
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SAFETY measures could be drafted in on a busy road which claimed the life of a schoolboy.

Brandon Nugent died in March, when he was struck by a car heading along the A690 from Durham City towards Sunderland, at Kepier Lane, Gilesgate.

After the loss of her 13-year-old son, a pupil at St Leonard’s School, grieving mum Madeline Walker has worked with highways chiefs to make the route safer.

Although she hoped to close the path – a popular route into Durham, which also leads to woods and the River Wear – Durham County Council says she welcomes other measures its officers have recommended.

In a report for Tuesday’s highways committee meeting, director of regeneration and economic development Ian Thompson, and director of neighbourhood services Terry Collins, wrote: “Whilst she would have preferred to have seen the crossing closed, she understands the needs of the wider community and the legal and technical issues which apply, and accepts the report and the recommendations.

“She hopes the recommendations can be implemented as soon as possible and that the crossing can be made safer, so that something positive can come out of the tragedy.”

Councillors will be asked to approve measures including improved signs and work to make the crossing more visible on the 70mph limit road, including hazard bollards either side of the crossing, which leads from a gateway near Deans’ Walk.

More warning signs would also be installed, marking the approach to the crossing, and additional footway instructions in the central reservation between the two carriageways.

The works would cost £20,000. Extra lighting, also suggested as a consideration for the committee, would be a further £15,000.

The council, which consulted with users of the path, parish and ward councillors for the area and Gilesgate School, has said an underpass or bridge is unlikely because of the economic climate, with the cost of a walkway over the road to cost more than £700,000.

A reduction in speed limit to 50mph was also looked at, but the likelihood is that accident at that speed would still be severe.

It was judged as unworkable because of the resources needed for enforcement, as it would be “subject to significant abuse” by motorists.

Madeline Walker, Brandon’s mum, said: “We’re disappointed the crossing is going to stay open because we think its very dangerous. But we’re happy they’re going to do something about it. We just want to get it sorted out.”

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham