The enormous change in the use of the A177 through High Shincliffe, Shincliffe and Maiden Castle towards the city centre over the last 10 years means that the current speed limit, signage and guidance for drivers on this stretch of road is no longer fit for purpose and the residents, visitors and commuters who live and travel through the village deserve a safer road. The council also has a commitment to ensuring improvements are made after so many fatalities and range of accidents and injuries, along with damage to properties.
Current housing expansions at Bowburn, retail outlets and
university expansion at South Road, enormous growth of sports and
teaching facilities at Maiden Castle and East Durham Collage, along
with new estates planned around the A1 junction at Integra 61 and
Bent House Lane means that this road needs to be prepared for the
next 10 years. Changes to the Highway Code and the County Council
signing their climate emergency plans has meant that the importance
has moved away from solely guaranteeing the constant high-speed
movement of goods, people and aggregate in and out of towns,
towards the ease in which pedestrians, cyclists and other road
users can live and access the surrounding areas, safely.
This is recognised and acknowledged directly in various reports produced by Durham County Council regarding long term strategies for roads within the city including within the County Durham Speed Management Strategy and The Durham City Sustainable Transport Delivery Plan and Update 2019-2035, both of which cite safety for road users and city residents as important parts of growing Durham County as a place to live, work and develop, safely.
This stretch A177 has recorded a catalogue of traffic accidents with fatalities to pedestrians and cyclists, indicating that the varied risks on this stretch do not justify a blanket 40mph limit for the entire length, and the topography, road geometry and poor maintenance standards combined with the heavy local use of the road, footpaths and cycle lanes here means that there are a catalogue of dangers made significantly worse by the current speed limit.
When drivers miss-calculate appropriate and suitable speeds within the locale, the impact can be catastrophic. Improved signage and warnings will help educate drivers of the inherent risks.
The length of speed reduction matches similar measures in place through Sherburn Hospital and Brancepeth Village as two examples - meaning it would bring consistency to roads around the county.
We aim to;
- Reduce the speed limit to 30mph on a 735m stretch of road, from the start of Willow Tree Avenue to part-way up Shincliffe Bank. (Note that a 40mph speed limit within County Durham is enforceable from 10%+2 = 46mph.)
- Improve road signage to advise people of the approaching risks to reduce the number of accidents travelling south out of the city.
- 2 deaths in the last 5 years (cyclist / pedestrian)
- 11 reported accidents in the last 5 years involving injuries or fatalities.
- Both designated safe crossing traffic islands struck, telegraph poles, residents’ houses including full removal of bay window.
- Main access bus route in and out of the Durham City accommodating double-deckers and the Megabus with buses travelling at up to 46mph within permitted limit.
- Main access route for HGVs in and out of the south side of the City and HGVs entering from the south from the A1; servicing most of the University buildings and short cut route into Gilesgate industrial estates up to 44 tones.
- Busy local village split into two by the road; population around 2,000, two local public houses (one with rooms), a large, very busy garden centre, active parish church and church hall (used most days for baby and toddler and exercise groups, meetings, weddings, events etc), a children’s nursery, a play park, 5 public footpaths decanting onto the road, nearby equestrian centre, farm traffic with 5 fields accessing directly onto the road (with mix of arable and livestock).
- Cycle path that moves on and off the footpath.
- Public parking bays sited in the footpath and cycle path meaning that pedestrians have no choice but to walk in the carriageway (including pushchairs and wheelchair users).
- Large number of elderly or more vulnerable road users access properties, services and facilities in the village.
- Local primary school in the next village is used by many residents meaning they have to cross the main carriageway with children and pushchairs and walk along narrow footpaths along the road to the school.
- School buses from main city comprehensives drop off on the far side of the road meaning all the school children who get off the buses have to cross the carriageway at the main site for accidents.
- Narrow footpaths, less than 100cm in places; pedestrians have been knocked off their feet from the suction of created by passing HGVs and buses.
- Properties within 1m of the curb, many with vehicle access directly on and off the road and several with structural impact from vibrations from the road.
- Deteriorated road surface with over 80 repairs within a 250m stretch of road; not up to standard for a 40mph road.
- Road topography means there are various hazards including z-bend, narrowing lanes, crossing points, steep incline and blind bends on the descent. T-junctions from entering and leaving the village have limited or zero visibility.
- The only A-Road that feeds directly into the City that is 40mph and single carriageway.
By reducing the speed limit over a shorter stretch to 30mph and improving advisory signage, the key message to all road users is that the risks along this part of the road are greater and therefore require more care, attention and control.
This ePetition runs from 20/08/2022 to 20/11/2022.
One person has signed this ePetition.