Controversial Spennymoor traffic plan decision put on hold

A DECISION over whether to introduce controversial traffic measures around a secondary school has been deferred after residents claimed it would have a devastating impact on their lives.

Planning conditions require Durham County Council to introduce a traffic management plan around Whitworth Park School and Sixthform College in Spennymoor, which opened in September following the merger of Tudhoe Grange and Spennymoor Schools.

The plans, which are aimed at easing congestion and improving safety, include creating a two-lane approach to the Whitworth Road traffic lights from both Grayson Road and Clyde Terrace and introducing a pedestrian phase at the lights to make it easier for pupils to cross the road.

Highways officers also recommend introducing waiting restrictions in Whitworth Road, Clyde Terrace and Grayson Road to stop parked cars, especially parents dropping off and collecting pupils, from obstructing the two lane approach and blocking school buses.

However, the move would also leave several Clyde Terrace residents with nowhere to park their cars on a street where parking is already a contentious issue.

At a highways committee meeting in County Hall in Durham City today (Thursday, January 17), resident Darren Moore said it would impact on property prices and restrict access for the emergency services.

Mother-of-three Kirsty Bell said: “There will be nothing between our houses and 30mph traffic. You have spoken about the safety of pupils going to the school – what about the safety of our children?”

And Spennymoor councilors Ben Ord and Kevin Thompson argued it was impossible to predict the effect the school merger would have on traffic until the work was complete.

Brian Buckley, strategic highways manager at Durham County Council, said no-one had a legal right to reserve a space on the road, adding: “The highways authority has to seek to improve the movement and capacity of the junction.”

Coun Carol Woods proposed deferring the decision and revisiting the plans after a site visit a a proposal that was backed by the rest of the committee.

Coun Dorothy Bowman said: “Everyone is entitled to a peaceful life and I don’t think lives should be disrupted just because there is a school around the corner.”

Resident Donna Bell said residents were pleased the decision had been deferred but remained frustrated.

“We made a lot of valuable points but we feel most of our questions went unanswered,” she said.

Comments (2)

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7:40pm Thu 17 Jan 13

peter laidler says...

At least the folks in Clyde Terrace and Whitworth Lane have won a temporary stay of execution, but while I sincerely wish them well in their battle with County Council officials I think the latter will have little option but to follow the recommendation of the traffic planners. As I said in my previous post its the clown who proposed the merger of the schools without giving due consideration to the potential traffic problems in the first place. The traffic planners suggest setting out no-waiting zones near the school but who precisely is going to enforce those? Its a shambles
At least the folks in Clyde Terrace and Whitworth Lane have won a temporary stay of execution, but while I sincerely wish them well in their battle with County Council officials I think the latter will have little option but to follow the recommendation of the traffic planners. As I said in my previous post its the clown[s] who proposed the merger of the schools without giving due consideration to the potential traffic problems in the first place. The traffic planners suggest setting out no-waiting zones near the school but who precisely is going to enforce those? Its a shambles peter laidler
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11:27pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Spennymoor Resident says...

I attended the HIghways meeting today and I can tell you it was very frustrating and stressful. The Highays Authority were given as much time as they wanted to present their case which in effect took over an hour.
Residents were given 10 minutes to put the whole case for their objections they were timed and not allowed to overrun.
Spennymoor Town Council did not attend the meeting sending their apologies shame on them. The Town Clerk had plenty to say when it was suggested that parents drop off their children at the town hall and walk to school. They expressed their concerns about the loss of parking for residents but did not feel it important enough to support them, nor did the Town Clerk have the decency to reply to a letter sent to her requesting that the proposals be put on the Agenda to be discussed at the Highways Meeting.

Councillors Kevin Thompson and Ben Ord supported the residents and spoke at the meeting and we are grateful for their support. We would also like to acknowledge the presence of Councillor LIz Maddison who although not allowed to speak came to support the residents.

Mrs Bell
Resident Clyde Tce
I attended the HIghways meeting today and I can tell you it was very frustrating and stressful. The Highays Authority were given as much time as they wanted to present their case which in effect took over an hour. Residents were given 10 minutes to put the whole case for their objections they were timed and not allowed to overrun. Spennymoor Town Council did not attend the meeting sending their apologies shame on them. The Town Clerk had plenty to say when it was suggested that parents drop off their children at the town hall and walk to school. They expressed their concerns about the loss of parking for residents but did not feel it important enough to support them, nor did the Town Clerk have the decency to reply to a letter sent to her requesting that the proposals be put on the Agenda to be discussed at the Highways Meeting. Councillors Kevin Thompson and Ben Ord supported the residents and spoke at the meeting and we are grateful for their support. We would also like to acknowledge the presence of Councillor LIz Maddison who although not allowed to speak came to support the residents. Mrs Bell Resident Clyde Tce Spennymoor Resident
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