Time to think of pedestrians
An elderly lady recently contacted The Ambler as she is concerned about the speed of vehicles along Percy Drive. The resident of Hauxley Way who is in her 80s says she is worried about crossing the road these days, as there is no pedestrian crossing, and the volume of traffic has increased in recent months. She has called for a speed check on traffic along Percy Drive, and has asked whether it is possible to have a pedestrian crossing.
The lady, who didn’t wish to be named, told The Ambler, “I am registered with impaired sight, and I also walk with a stick. The traffic along Percy Drive gathers speed after 4 o’clock and it’s a bit scary trying to cross the road. I think they should check the speeds people are driving.
“I’ve got two dogs and I take them for a walk around the Industrial Estate, and I tend to cross near the allotments. It would make sense to have a crossing there. Also, it’s a school route. Some children are on bikes and scooters, and mums are going to Brambles.”
The Ambler contacted both County Councillors and the Town Council asking if there was a history of problems with speeding vehicles along Percy Drive.
“I have had many complaints from elderly residents crossing roads from Aidan Road, Bede Street, Newburgh Street, and I will report the speeding issue along Percy Sreet,” said County Councillor Terry Clark.
“I will also check with highways if it is possible to put a pedestrian crossing along this road. They may want me to part fund one like my new footpath along Middleton St, but don’t hold your breath. I will certainly look into it.”
Vice Chair of Amble Town Council Helen Lewis told us: “Amble Town Council share residents’ concerns about speeding on Percy Drive; many times these have been passed to NCC. While Robert Arckless was the County Councillor for that ward, speed calming measures were suggested but unfortunately were not able to be progressed due to opposition from adjacent residents.”
This was confirmed by Robert Arckless, who retired from local politics last year. “I was involved in getting a detailed scheme drawn up at least twice, the last one around 2008. It went out to full public consultation and was supported, but sadly not enough. People have accepted there’s a speeding issue on Percy Drive, the problem is getting a solution that people would support. There’s a huge amount of traffic compared to what there used to be.”
However more data is needed to prove that speeding is indeed a problem. The Town Council have asked if the mobile speed camera could be placed there occasionally to check speeds.
The elderly resident was also concerned at the bumpy pavements from Dolphin Court to the Health Centre, after an uneven pavement elsewhere in Amble caused a nasty fall in the past. She is trying to be active and as independent as she can be, but her confidence is waning.
“I’m really scared of cracked pavements,” she said. ”I fell near the Methodist Church once and cracked my head on the pavement. It’s easier to see large ledges; it’s the little ones which are difficult to see. I lost my sight suddenly a year and a half ago and I haven’t been able to drive.”
Terry Clark explained to The Ambler that cracks and edges have to be deeper than 20mm before the county council will renew or fix them. He said “I have reported certain stretches on numerous occasions and the council will not fix because it’s under the 20mm.
“Our elderly residents should not be afraid to walk along any footpaths in Amble. I’ll also report the paths near the health centre.”
And the Town Council are asking concerned members of the public to contact Terry Clark who is compiling a report on deteriorating footpaths in the town, to present to NCC.
Cllr Lewis said “At a time when we are trying to encourage everyone to be more active, it is frustrating that some footpaths are in such terrible condition.”
Cllr Clark can be contacted via email: Terry.Clark@northumberland.gov.uk