Further consultation on Northumberland shared space scheme

Highways Reporters

Plans for a shared space scheme in Stobhill are to undergo further consultation before any work starts, Northumberland County Council has confirmed.

As part of the council's 2014-15 Local Transport Plan Programme nationally recognised shared spaces experts, Hamilton-Baillie Associates, were commissioned to make recommendations about the potential for a 'shared space' type approach.

These schemes take a different approach to reducing traffic speed, improving safety, reducing the dominance of cars over pedestrians and cyclists and improving the streetscape compared to more conventional designs.

As a result of this report it was considered that a ‘shared space’ approach could be applied to the Shields Road/First Avenue/Jobling Crescent area of Stobhill.

The scheme has been consulted upon through various means and work was due to start next week. However due to concerns raised by some local residents the council has agreed to carry out further consultation.

Ward Councillor Ian Lindley, who has championed the scheme, said: “We’ve gone through a lengthy process to engage with the local community.

“However as we near the point where work was due to start it is clear there are still those who have concerns about the scheme.

“In light of these concerns we have agreed to postpone the start of the work so we can have further dialogue with key stakeholders, including The Northumberland Low Vision Action Group, to allay their concerns.

“We will outline in detail the various features of the scheme, in particular those developed to assist people with low vision, and how the overall design works to reduce traffic speeds and improve public safety, whilst also creating a more coherent and visually appealing public space.”
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