Is penny-pinching being put before safety?

This month’s Northumberland County Council south east area committee provided a disappointing outcome for both the residents and parents of Eastfield in Cramlington.

Following the reading of the officers’ report, and their recommendations, I highlighted the issues from a residents and parents perspective of those who live alongside and use the young children’s play area on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, the officers and committee members appear happy to have 40mph speed limits beside green fields and open spaces, but do not feel it is ‘worth the resources’ to reduce the limit beside a play area, and would rather leave a 60mph limit less than 6.5m distance instead.

Some of the elected members commented that on the ‘occasions’ that they had used this junction it did not appear to be an issue.

Obviously they not taking any notice of the details in the council’s own speed survey showing vehicles travelling in excess of 40mph, and in some cases even in excess of 50mph, but just taking a short-sighted view of the ‘average’.

Despite highlighting the fact that nearby residents were witness to incidents not reported to the police, as well as serious nearby accidents over the three-year period they had on record, it was apparent that none of this mattered.

On asking the price to move these signs, I was quoted a sum of £1,500 for the legal side and to move the two illuminated signs.

These signs have never been illuminated, an indication then that this report has obviously been so carefully thought out and investigated.

I would imagine the main cost to the price could be relaying the electricity which is not necessary, and should really have been noticed.

It was visible on photographs I circulated at the meeting.

Not for the first time recently, has the safety of the people of Eastfield been put second whilst the penny-pinching is put first?

M Swinburn