Villagers’ concerns over speed humps

Chicane in Church Lane, Murton which it is proposed to replace with speed humps.

Chicane in Church Lane, Murton which it is proposed to replace with speed humps.

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THE main route through a village could be lined with 24 sets of road humps under new plans.

Highways officers are gathering views on the proposed scheme, which would run through Murton’s main road and see the cushions replace the two existing chicanes.

A speed table outside St Joseph’s Primary could also be installed.

The estimated cost of the project is £120,000.

While many villagers say they are not against slowing down speeding motorists on the B1285, especially near the school, they do not think the proposed scheme will benefit the area.

At a consultation event held at the Glebe Centre, residents passed their views on to council officers.

Comments included:

l Concerns there are too many humps planned for the road, which is a popular link between Hetton, Houghton and the A19.

l The humps would divert traffic along Barnes Road and other back routes around the village.

l The plans would cause tailbacks.

l The proposals would drive trade away from Dalton Park, which has just been given outline permission to expand.

The session also confirmed any humps installed would not be the same as those on Seaham seafront, which have attracted complaints and more than 620 members to a Facebook campaign to have them removed.

A similar page, Say No to the 24 Speed Cushions Through Murton, has already won 180 fans.

Engineer Alan Jones, 55, from Winds Lonnen in Murton, said: “I’m not against reducing the speed of speeding motorists.

“If there is an accident, the slower the speed the less chance of a fatality.

“I’m just against the mass use of these speed bumps along the whole route.

“Some speed bumps may be required, at the school perhaps, but features like mini roundabouts, offset junctions, warning illuminated speed limits and mobile speed cameras to catch speeders should be considered.

“The correct solution is the bypass round Murton – but I guess that money is a problem.”

County councillor Alice Naylor said the proposals came as a result of calls from residents.

She said: “If we have nothing, people would just start going faster.

“We hope that people will give us their views and this is what we’re doing at the moment.”

Steve Keetley, head of technical services with the council, said: “The proposed scheme is designed to address a number of issues raised by the residents of Murton and improve safety within the village.

“We are currently consulting on these proposals and urge residents to get in touch to allow us to gauge public opinion.”

Comments can be sent to northernareatechnicalsupport@durham.gov.uk or by calling 332 4432.

Murton Parish Council has not yet been consulted on the scheme, but expects to discuss the issue at its next meeting on Thursday, July 21, at 7pm.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham