ROUNDABOUT: Forethought was needed

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As a regular and avid reader of your newspaper, I read your article on work starting on the roundabout on the Laverock Hall Road (A1061), (News Post Leader, May 19).

For readers not familiar with this area, work began on constructing a new roundabout in October and continued until early February.

As only one of two exits from Blyth onto a major dual carriageway, considerable hold-ups were caused to commuters at peak times. Work proceeded slowly and, as the new roundabout came into operation, it became clear that the directions and road markings were far from clear.

To compound the problem, there is only one exit from the roundabout and it leads to a dead end. The obvious question is what is the purpose of the roundabout? Even now, some four months after completion, the answer is far from obvious.

Now we learn that there are safety concerns over the new road layout. It seems to me that in this day of red tape and over-regulation, the roads department at County Hall must have had some hand in this development at the planning stages. It would seem impossible for anyone to dig up a road and install a roundabout without any ‘by your leave’ from the appropriate authorities.

This leads to my second question which is why were these concerns not spotted when plans were submitted? Who approved these plans? And were the concerns not spotted before work began?

We, the council taxpayers, pay for a road safety team at County Hall who are supposed to be highly trained, and no doubt equally well rewarded, road planners, but any user could see from the outset that this was a poorly designed and executed project.

Whilst any road safety improvements are always welcome, surely the need for further disruption on a busy road could have been avoided with a little forethought from those professionals whose role is road planning.

Perhaps Grant Davey might offer some insight into this and provide answers to the questions this redevelopment now raises.

T.Thepes

Blyth