Mayor backs new road safety plans

The A689 heading towards Newton Bewley
The A689 heading towards Newton Bewley

MAYOR Stuart Drummond has agreed plans to improve road safety at accident blackspots including a main route into Hartlepool which was the scene of a recent fatal collision.

Transport chiefs at Hartlepool Borough Council say safety schemes are prioritised on the basis of the number of accidents with data regularly reviewed.

The A689 between Newton Bewley and Greatham, on the outskirts of Hartlepool, came top between 2009 and 2011, with nine slight accidents and four serious accidents.

Mayor Drummond, portfolio holder for regeneration and neighbourhoods, agreed plans to improve road safety along that stretch and at two other roads in town at a recent meeting.

The stretch of the A689, between Newton Bewley and Greatham, is the priority road safety scheme after 13 accidents over the space of three years.

Officers say the road markings and cats eyes are in a very poor condition and a number of accidents have taken place during the hours of darkness so they need to be upgraded.

Transport chiefs identified that stretch of road as a priority just weeks before Hartlepool woman Sally Holbrook, 48, died in a collision on the A689 road, near Greatham, two days before Christmas.

Police are still investigating the collision and have appealed for two motorists to come forward.

Other schemes approved include the A179 Marina Way road where officers say anti-skid surfacing is required at the Middleton Road roundabout due to a number of “loss of control” accidents.

The Tees Road is also in line for improvements to street lighting and a new vehicle activated sign to highlight the Zinc Works bend, on the approach to the Power Station roundabout.

The A689 works are estimated to cost around £25,000, the A179 works £20,000, and the Tees Road improvements £15,000.

The work is expected to be carried out over the next three months.

Mrs Holbrook was driving a blue Vauxhall Agila when it was involved in a collision with a black Ford Focus near to the junction with Dalton Back Lane and police investigating the collision recently issued an appeal for two motorists to come forward.

Investigators say at around 5.25pm on Sunday, December 23, the cars, possibly an old style Vauxhall Corsa and black Ford Fiesta, were turning right from the central reservation on the A689 near to Claxton onto the westbound carriageway heading out of Hartlepool.

At the same time the Vauxhall Agila, driven by Pools fan Mrs Holbrook, was waiting to turn right onto Dalton Back Lane.

Officers would like to speak to the drivers of these vehicles as they may have witnessed the collision or have useful information.

They are asked to contact PC Sarah Tribick, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 228873.