DEVELOPER: Problems with road

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For a number of months, Gleeson has been building a new complex of houses in Malvins Road, Blyth, called Malvins Walk. I would like to ask Gleeson, is this indicative of one of its sites? If so, it seems that it cares nothing about the public living around its building sites.

I use Malvins Road every day on my journey to and from work, plus other times. Since Gleeson started building there, the state of the road is disgraceful, with large amounts of mud and clay the full length and on to Cowpen Road, which is a major artery into and out of Blyth.

I am not just talking about a thin layer of mud and clay, which when wet or frozen can cause cars to skid. I’m talking, in some cases, of large clumps in the middle of the road and running the full length of the site, caused by the wheels of the vehicles which run up and down all day.

The other issue is vehicles blocking the road. In the morning I usually have to cross to the wrong side of the road to pass either a lorry making a drop of materials, the telehandler, a dumpster, or workmen walking up or down the road, quite often having to wait for traffic coming the other way to pass before I can do so.

I realise this is an awkward site to work on because it is so narrow, which is why the site vehicles have to use the road so much, and compromise is needed. However, compromise works both ways.

When the company filling in the old railway cutting, which the site is built on, had lorries full of spoil coming and going it had a road sweeper out two, three or more times a day cleaning the road.

The road is at its most quiet between 9.30am and noon, and 1pm and 3pm. Why not schedule deliveries and movements during these times? Or at least not during rush hour when people are trying to get to work, or take kids to school.

On Wednesday, January 20, it really took the biscuit. Coming down Malvins Road, a bit before 9am, a hiab was parked on the opposite side of the road from the site. The telehandler was broadside on, across the road, loading it.

Usually when a hiab is making a drop or pick-up it parks on the same side as the site and loads or unloads over the fence. This one blocked the road in both directions.

There were no traffic control measures in place, no persons controlling the traffic, no signage, no lights, nothing.

There was a queue of traffic in both directions waiting to get past. After a few minutes I honked my horn to get the lorry driver’s attention to ask how much longer they were going to be. His response was to wave and then ignore me.

After a few more minutes, the telehandler pulled to the other side of the road leaving enough room for a single file of traffic to pass.

As I passed the lorry driver, he shouted something at me. I didn’t quite hear what it was, but by the tone of his voice and the gesticulations he made, I could tell it was not a pleasantry or an apology so I pulled over and went to ask him what he had said, as well as get the name of his company and his registration number.

Is this level of consideration and civility to the public the usual for Gleeson’s employees and contractors?

I have spoken to someone at the site before about the state of the road.

This was the day after the car in front of me nearly didn’t stop at the junction because of wet clay on the approach. His response was “we have a waggon with a brush on. We’ll send it out later”.

Most people I know have stopped using this road and prefer to detour to get onto Cowpen Road, rather than run the risks and delays of using Malvins, which kind of negates all the banners Gleeson has put up around its sales office, does it not?

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