Lights to stay on

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COUNCIL chiefs say full-time traffic lights on the roundabout from the A19 to Peterlee and Shotton are “the only safe option”.

This is despite an online petition lobbying Durham County Council to make the lights part-time.

The petition, at http://democracy.durham.gov.uk/mgEPetitionListDisplay.aspx, has more than 100 signatures. It says the lights “are of no use whatsoever” after 7pm.

It states that the council’s argument that the signals remain full-time for the protection of cyclists and pedestrians is “weak and baseless”, as other similarly busy North-East junctions are part-time.

But the council’s strategic traffic manager Dave Wafer told the Mail: “We have looked at the possibility of part-time signals at the junction.

“However, with housing and industry nearby, it is important that crossings are provided for pedestrians and cyclists.

“And according to Department for Transport guidance such crossings should not operate on a part-time basis.

“With part-time signal operation, there is no way to provide safe pedestrian crossing facilities for visually impaired pedestrians, as there is no effective way of indicating in a non-visual way that the signals are not operational.

“Any junction which includes such facilities must therefore be switched on permanently.

“Introducing traffic signals at locations such as this is always a careful balance between managing large volumes of traffic in the peak hours and causing minor delays in the quieter off-peak periods.

“But full-time signals are the only safe option at this location.”