I am 61-years-old, have lived in Blyth all my life and have driven along Cowpen Road thousands of times.
This road has always been busy at certain times due to various problems, including Asda and school traffic.
The proposal for a driveway behind Horton Grange School would be effective, but I would like to suggest a simpler proposal that may help.
There are two main sets of traffic lights in Cowpen Road. One at the junction with Tynedale Drive and another at the junction with Coniston Road, and these are quite close together.
To assist the traffic flow along Cowpen Road, these lights need to be on green. This is simple enough, yes we give the green light to traffic to assist the flow, however, having been given the green light to go, the traffic can be brought to a standstill by any one of four sets of pedestrian crossings.
Heading west out of Blyth, the first crossing is actually in the dip just before the Tynedale Drive junction. When this junction’s lights turn green to allow the traffic to flow west along Cowpen Road, only five or six cars will get through if someone activates the pedestrian crossing in the dip, holding back an already long line of traffic. It may be only half a minute or so, but it is enough to have an adverse effect on the traffic flow.
Continuing west out of Blyth after the Coniston Road junction, we then have another pedestrian crossing at the school.
When this crossing is activated, it also then overrules the green lights at Tynedale Drive and Coniston Road junctions. So we can have two sets of lights saying ‘go’ but the pedestrian crossing saying ‘stop’.
There are also pedestrian crossings at the left junction of the Asda roundabout, and another immediately after, and both of these can cause tailbacks.
These pedestrian crossings are certainly needed, and are there for perfectly good reasons. But they are not synchronized with the two main sets of lights at the Tynedale drive and Coniston Road junctions.
All of these pedestrian crossings should only allow pedestrians to cross when the two main sets of lights at Tynedale Drive and Coniston Road are also on red, allowing the people crossing the road to do so at the same time..
I would expect this solution to be a lot less expensive than some of the other proposals, and certainly worth trying.