Hundreds sign up to keep road open

A petitionon calling for a re-examination on the closure of Falcon Road  has been handed in to council chiefs at Hartlepool Civic Centre. Pictured, from left, are: Resident, David McDonald, Labour Councilor Pamela Hargreaves and fellow Labour Councilor Rob Cook.
A petitionon calling for a re-examination on the closure of Falcon Road has been handed in to council chiefs at Hartlepool Civic Centre. Pictured, from left, are: Resident, David McDonald, Labour Councilor Pamela Hargreaves and fellow Labour Councilor Rob Cook.

HUNDREDS of angry residents have signed a petition calling for senior councillors to overturn their decision to close a controversial road.

A petition signed by 1,650 people has been submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council slamming the move to shut Falcon Road, which has been labelled a “rat-run” by some residents.

September’s decision to close the road, made by the council’s cabinet committee, 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.

As well as handing in the petition, residents have also objected to a legal order to close the road, which is currently still open.

The busy road has been a long-running bone of contention among residents in the Bishop Cuthbert area for several years.

Those opposed to the closure say it will put more pressure on Hart Lane, that people will struggle to get off the estate in bad weather and that there are now only two access roads on to the estate.

David McDonald has helped collect the signatures with wife Dawn, Graeme Smith, Kim Watson and Julie Fletcher.

Mr McDonald, 41, a technical consultant of nearby Lapwing Road, said: “A lot of people were really disappointed that the cabinet went against the majority of the people that responded to the consultation.

“We want this decision overturned.”

The petition reads: “We the undersigned call upon Hartlepool Borough Council to re-examine the decision taken by the cabinet on September 19 as we believe this will cause increased traffic on other roads, especially Hart Lane.”

If the road is eventually closed, it will cost about £5,000 and will mean residents having to use Hart Lane to travel to and from the town centre.

Labour councillor Rob Cook was approached for advice by concerned residents after he voiced his concerns over the closure in the Mail.

Coun Cook, who represents the Hart Ward, said: “I just can’t see the reasons to close it.

“I was surprised that they went against the majority.

“Hopefully they will look at it again.”

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

Labour councillor Pamela Hargreaves, cabinet member for transport and neighbourhoods, said: “I acknowledge receipt of the petition.

“I commend Mr McDonald for his efforts in collecting the signatures which show the strength of feeling about the decision.

“I want to stress that the decision was taken for the right reasons and was made on the basis of what we felt to be the right decision.”

The petition will now be verified, before it is discussed at a full council meeting.