Dicing with death

The Arcliffe Gardens and Elwick Road junction.
The Arcliffe Gardens and Elwick Road junction.
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MOTORISTS are “dicing with death” by ignoring newly-created one-way systems in the centre of Hartlepool.

Driving expert Ian Dunn says the one-way systems created in Arncliffe Gardens, Wansbeck Gardens, Eamont Gardens and Belmont Gardens, will almost certainly prove “lethal” if the ‘no-entry’ signs are continued to be ignored.

Ian Dunn pictured at the Arcliffe Gardens and Elwick Road junction.

Ian Dunn pictured at the Arcliffe Gardens and Elwick Road junction.

The 68-year-old stood at the Arncliffe Gardens and Elwick Road junction for just six minutes and counted six vehicles travelling up Arncliffe Gardens the wrong way - one vehicle per minute.

And he claims that a serious, if not fatal accident, is on the cards if an irresponsible driver tries to enter one of the four streets the wrong way, hitting a law-abiding motorist who is using the new lanes to exit the roads.

Ian, who has been a driving instructor for 35 years and is a member of the Transport Liaison Group, told the Mail: “In principle the one-way systems are a good idea, but at the minute people are just ignoring it.

“It’s lethal quite frankly and they’re dicing with death by turning into these streets the wrong way.

“The most dangerous thing is if a driver is exiting Arncliffe Gardens into Elwick Road, for example, and is using the new right-hand lane which they are supposed to do, and some idiot tries to use that same lane to get into the street.

“There could be a very serious accident.”

He added: “I’m a driving instructor and on my lessons I have yet to go down one of these streets and not have somebody coming the wrong way.

“The result is I’m now refusing to take my pupils down them because they are unsafe, it’s dangerous. The other night I stopped a taxi driver to tell him he was coming down the wrong way and he went completely off his rocker saying he was just dropping somebody off.”

And Arncliffe Gardens resident Fred Smurthwaite, 58, a pipe fitter, agreed, saying: “I do agree with the new one way system in Arncliffe Gardens, but I can tell you that drivers are blatantly disregarding the signs every day, all day long.

“It was so bad on Saturday and Sunday, I called Cleveland Police about the problem, and they said they would look into the matter. I hope police start giving drivers tickets to teach them a lesson for breaking the law.”

The one-way systems were introduced last weekend to ease residents’ problems with congestion due to parking on both sides of the roads.