Officials say Wikipedia flyover rumours a hoax

NET HOAX: The site where the hoaxer says the flyover will begin

NET HOAX: The site where the hoaxer says the flyover will begin

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter (Darlington)

AN entry on an online encyclopedia has left residents worried there are plans to drive a motorway flyover through the heart of their suburban village.

Local councillors have taken a number of calls from concerned residents in Cockerton, Darlington, after an update on the Wikipedia website said a flyover linking the centre of Darlington to the A1(M) would be built over the village.

Darlington Borough Council said the entry was false and there were no such plans.

The Wikipedia entry says the project would be funded by Tesco in return for a superstore with a rooftop car park in Cockerton.

It said the name of the flyover would be decided by a public vote, but the favourite name is the Alf Common Way.

Alf Common was the world's first football player to be transferred for a fee of £1,000.

He retired in 1914 and went on to run the Alma pub, in Cockerton, now known as the Brown Trout.

Local ward councillor David Regan said the rumours had caused concern among local people.

He said: "It's all rather annoying when you get whispers like this. One of the good things about the internet is it gets information out there, but in this case it is the wrong information.

"With things like this, one person looks at it and before you know, thousands of people have looked at it.

"People think that councillors do not tell the truth. We are telling them that it is totally untrue, but people do not get it that we are telling the truth."

The article says that the exit ramp for the flyover would be built on the site of the Pizza Hut restaurant, which would be demolished.

It says the flyover would be similar to the Croydon flyover, with traffic coming into Darlington on the top level and traffic travelling towards the A1(M) on the lower level.

It said the flyover was scheduled for completion by summer 2010.

Last night, a council spokesman said: "There are no plans for a flyover in Cockerton. It is completely untrue."

A spokesman for Wikipedia was unavailable for comment.

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