‘We need lights to prevent accident’

From left, Michelle Embleton, Norman Mordue, Christine Johnstone and Michael Watson at the zebra crossing in Newbiggin Road.
From left, Michelle Embleton, Norman Mordue, Christine Johnstone and Michael Watson at the zebra crossing in Newbiggin Road.

Residents in an area of Ashington are urging Northumberland County Council to take action as they are fearful of a serious road accident.

There have been more than half a dozen reports of near misses at the zebra crossing on Newbiggin Road – where drivers have still driven past even though there have been people walking along the crossing – since the start of the year.

The facility is well-used by residents of all ages and some of those who have nearly been hit have raised their concerns with their ward county councillor Mark Purvis.

Following this meeting, a petition is being considered.

Newbiggin Road resident Christine Johnstone said: “Last month, I was halfway along the zebra crossing as the car on the side closest to me had stopped.

“But a car on the other side of the road still went past and I almost got hit.

“The driver was going too fast, but they still should have seen the crossing from a far enough distance to stop in time.

“This has happened to other residents in the street and there have been quite a few near misses in the last five months, so I told myself that I had to try to do something.

“We need action as soon as possible because we don’t want there to be a serious accident before any works are carried out.”

Fellow resident Norman Mordue has raised the matter previously and he suggested to Coun Purvis that a crossing with traffic lights should be installed.

He said: “I was told months ago that it was under investigation, but progress has been very slow.

“We believe that a pelican crossing is needed given the number of near misses. Prevention is better than cure.”

Among those using the zebra crossing are school pupils and elderly people visiting the graveyard at St John’s Church.

Coun Purvis said: “I have raised this matter with the relevant teams and we’ve discussed having the zebra crossing painted in a few weeks’ time, which will help as a short-term measure.

“The zebra crossing is very well used and it would be horrendous if someone was knocked over, so I hope that a pelican crossing can be installed as soon as practically possible.”

A county council spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the issues raised and we are currently exploring possible options for the crossing.”