FRUSTRATED farmers have left council taxpayers to pick up a £8,000 bill after complaining about a new traffic crossing in South Tyneside.
A £30,000 puffin crossing was installed on Addison Road, West Boldon, in November to help youngsters cross the busy road.
It’s absolutely ridiculous. Before anyone has even used it, they’ve had to shell out thousands of pounds to remove part of it.Angry resident
But this week, the central island was removed from the road – before the lights had even been switched on.
Council bosses say they were forced to flatten the island because two farmers, who aren’t from the borough but use the road, have complained that they couldn’t manoeuvre their vehicles past the island.
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “This scheme went through the formal consultation process and no objections were received.
“However, since installation began, two farmers, not based in the immediate vicinity, who use this road as a through route have raised concerns.
“We have listened and are responding to those concerns so that the crossing can be completed and fully operational as soon as possible.”
It’s understood the puffin crossing – which differs from a pelican crossing by having the lights which control the pedestrians on the near side of the road – will be operational within the next few days
But many residents think the whole scheme was a waste of taxpayers’ money.
One said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous. Before anyone has even used it, they’ve had to shell out thousands of pounds to remove part of it.
“Many people thought it was a bit unnecessary anyway. There is the school crossing parol in operation during the day, and two other spots to cross the road.
“Now they’ve had to spend even more money removing the central island because the farmers cant get through with their combine harvesters. So much for times of austerity.”