Controversial road back on agenda

Falcon Road
Falcon Road

A CONTROVERSIAL road which has divided a community for more than five years is back in the spotlight.

In September last year, Hartlepool Borough Council’s cabinet committee voted to close Falcon Road after residents in the street raised concerns about the safety and volume of traffic using the “rat run”.

But hundreds of people living elsewhere on the Bishop Cuthbert estate launched a petition demanding the decision be reviewed.

Those against the closure said it would increase traffic on other roads, particularly Hart Lane, meaning people would struggle to get off the estate in bad weather and that it would leave only two access roads on to the estate.

At a meeting of the full council in December, councillors agreed to refer the decision back to the cabinet committee on the back of the petition, which was signed by 1,650 people.

The cabinet, chaired by Mayor Stuart Drummond, will meet on Monday to look again at the available options which include:

l Keeping the road open;

l Closing the road at Throston Grange Lane;

l Road closures at Falcon Road/Moorhen Road and Merlin Way/Lapwing Road junctions;

l Road closures at junctions of Merlin Way/Lapwing Road, Merlin Way/Moorhen Road and Merlin Way/Goshawk Road;

l As option four, but with Goshawk Road remaining open.

Other options include a trial closure, one-way systems and a new estate access from Easington Road.

Labour councillor Rob Cook, who represents the Hart Ward, has met with residents and said there is overwhelming support for option four which would see road closures at junctions of Merlin Way/Lapwing Road, Merlin Way/Moorhen Road and Merlin Way/Goshawk Road.

Coun Cook, who spoke on behalf of residents at the December meeting, said: “Let’s not forget that this issue has been ongoing since 2006 and it’s about time, in fact well overdue, that this is resolved to the satisfaction of the residents of Bishop Cuthbert.

“I hope that the mayor and his cabinet will see sense and acknowledge that the answer to this problem is simple.

“Reverse their decision in favour of option four then all concerned will be able to have a better quality of life.”

He added that some residents of Falcon Road that he had spoken to were in favour of option four.

The cabinet voted to close Falcon Road because of the “adverse impact” it was having on the lives of the people living in the street.

It was taken despite the results of the last round of consultation showing the vast majority of people, 475 out of 527, wanted it to remain open.

The cabinet committee will meet on Monday, March 19, at the civic centre, in Victoria Road, at 9.15am.