You may have heard of Stobhill County Councillor Ian Lindley’s planned Shared Space scheme for the Shields Road area from the zebra crossing to the junction with the A192 at Sainburys.
A Shared or Civilised Design space is one where all pavements and road markings are removed to make an open space for both pedestrians and cars. In theory drivers slow down and give priority to pedestrians but the idea is controversial and unpopular with blind and partially sighted people who feel safer on designated pavements and marked crossing areas. For this reason the zebra crossing in Shields Rd is to be retained. Work is due to start end September/early October.
Morpeth Town Council suggested several areas in the town centre where Shared Space could be trialled more effectively, such as Chantry Place or Stanley Terrace by the bus station, but were told that there was insufficient funding.
Shields Rd was only resurfaced in September 2014. The resurfacing was planned to last 20 years.
Nor does the scheme seem to have much public support. A consultation was held in the Community Shop in February which was only attended by 7 people. Letters were also sent out to surrounding streets, without much response.
Is this scheme, which will cost £280,000 at a time when NCC are suffering swingeing cuts and which does not have much public support, really a good use of public money?
Morpeth Town Council have expressed their concerns to the County Council.
If you have any comments on the scheme, in favour or against, please contact Stobhill County Council candidate Alison Byard either using the comments on the contact page or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org.