The Committee received a report of the Corporate Director of Regeneration, Economy and Growth to advise members of the objections received to the consultation concerning changes to the speed limit Traffic Regulation order (TRO) on A167, Newton Aycliffe and asked members to consider the objection made during the informal and formal consultation period (for copy see file of Minutes).
The Strategic Traffic Manager gave a detailed presentation that highlighted the traffic regulation order and included aerial photographs of the area and details of the proposal and location plan.
The Strategic Traffic Manager highlighted the objection received from Mr Snowball who was unable to attend the meeting. Mr Snowball explained that reducing the speed limit would limit the traffic flow and increase journey times and stated that he did not accept the rationale for change. The Strategic Traffic Manager noted that additional e-mails had been received from Mr Snowball and that the content had been shared with the Committee prior to the meeting. In response to the objection the Strategic Traffic Manager confirmed that a toucan crossing was to be introduced which would increase the number of pedestrians and cyclists crossing the road. He also advised that the current mean speed of vehicles was 48mph and stated that a speed limit of 50mph was therefore appropriate.
Local member, Councillor Atkinson addressed the Committee and felt it was sensible to decrease the speed limit of the road to ensure the safety of road users and pedestrians.
Councillor Robinson from Great Aycliffe Town Council addressed the Committee in objection the speed limit being reduced to 50mph. He advised that he had submitted his objection but that it had not been registered. He explained his objection was to reduce the speed limit of the road to 40mph rather than 50mph. He explained that vehicles race on the southbound lanes, and that included in the objection he submitted, were photographs of the aftermath of an accident showing the wreckage of two cars.
He stated that people used the pedestrian island to cross the road and did so with children, dogs, and motorised scooters and that this was dangerous due to the speed of the vehicles. He expressed that the speed limit from the A167 junction to the entrance of Aycliffe village needed to be 40mph to encourage motorists to travel at an appropriate speed to ensure a safer village and safer environment.
The Strategic Traffic Manager clarified that the proposal was to reduce the speed limit of the road to 50mph, not 40mph. It was clarified by the Solicitor (Planning and Development) that the proposal could not be amended.
In response to a question from Councillor Boyes regarding the toucan crossing, the Strategic Traffic Manager confirmed that this was part of a wider scheme and was not included in the recommendation to be voted on.
Councillor Boyes advised that a speed limit of 50mph was credible for the area and moved the proposal in line with the officer’s recommendation. This was seconded by Councillor Tinsley.
Councillor Robson confirmed that he lived in the area and had used the road since 1968. He commented that speeding was an issue, and this was due to the road leading to the A1 motorway. He agreed that the speed limit should be reduced to 50mph.
Councillor Jopling noted that she agreed with the officer’s recommendation.
Upon a vote being taken it was
That the proposal in principle, to proceed with the implementation of the 50mph TRO be endorsed. With the final decision to be made by the Corporate Director under delegated powers.