New safety measures on key road

Brought to you by the News Post Leader.
Brought to you by the News Post Leader.

Safety improvements are to be made to a busy road in Northumberland.

Speed restrictions, new signs and road markings, and other measures will be introduced on the A196 between Morpeth and Guide Post.

Following ongoing safety concerns and accidents on the road, Northumberland County Council has agreed to bring forward improvement plans for the area.

The scheme will include introducing a 50mph speed limit for the whole length of the road between Morpeth and Guide Post, as well as on the connecting roads to Bothal and Hepscott.

New and replacement signs, new road markings and additions to the road surface such as studs will be installed.

These measures will focus particularly on the two junctions at Dunces Houses, at the turning onto the U6013 to Hepscott, and also at the double junction at Shadfen Farm Mews – the junctions with the C132 to Hepscott and the C131 to Bothal.

Local county councillor for the area Coun Dave Ledger, said: “I am very pleased that this work is now set to get underway. Concerns have been expressed to me for some time about safety on this road.

“Unfortunately there have been two recent fatal accidents in the area, and whilst the road layout may not have contributed to these tragedies, they have meant renewed calls for attention to road safety.”

Coun Glen Sanderson, whose ward also covers a section of the road, added: “I have been calling for safety improvement works to this notorious stretch of road for years and am pleased remedial works will finally be getting underway.”

“This is a busy A-road which carries thousands of vehicles every day and the work should improve safety for all who use it.”

Coun Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services at the county council, added: “Improving road safety is an important role for the local services team and they have been working hard to find the best solutions to improve conditions on these stretches of road.”

Details of the design are now being finalised and the work is scheduled to be carried out during this financial year – with the speed restrictions aiming to be in place by Christmas.