Mayor to
meet road row residents

The puffin crossing on Blakelock Gardens
The puffin crossing on Blakelock Gardens

CONCERNED residents are to meet with Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond over proposals for controversial road safety measures.

Hartlepool Borough Council is looking to introduce double yellow lines and a limited waiting parking bay in a section of Blakelock Gardens, close to a puffin crossing installed to improve safety.

But some residents and businesses in the street want to see the crossing removed altogether because they claim it is causing additional problems around parking issues, speeding vehicles and congestion.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of Mayor Drummond’s regeneration and neighbourhoods portfolio.

Traffic officers say they recognise the preferred option of some people is the removal of the crossing altogether.

But they say it is a “valuable” road safety measure and was campaigned for by local people for some time.

They added the proposed parking controls would address most of the issues raised.

Mayor Drummond said he wanted to see for himself and deferred making a decision.

Half-a-dozen people attended the meeting to express their concerns about the crossing.

They described Blakelock Gardens as “one of the most dangerous and busiest roads” in Hartlepool and said the new crossing had created a bottleneck.

Mayor Drummond said: “This has been dealt with by the previous portfolio holder and this is the first chance I have had.

“I will come up and have a meeting with you at the site and defer this until that has taken place.

“I am happy to put everything on hold and come up there and see it for myself.”

That meeting is not expected to take place until later in August.

None of those residents wished to be named when approached by the Mail after the meeting.

A council report said a consultation letter was sent to nearby residents and the Dog Grooming Centre in March, with a copy of the plan for the proposed double yellow lines and limited waiting parking bay.

From the responses, two were in favour, two were against and there was one non-reply.

Officers say the Grooming Centre, which rejected the scheme, had responded with major concerns relating to parking facilities for their clients, saying what was proposed was “completely inadequate”.

Officers replied and said they could provide additional space, but the centre said it didn’t support the proposal and would not solve the issues.

Problems with parking controls in the street date back to April 2010 when plans for the puffin crossing, including a left turn ban out of Brinkburn Road, were originally approved.

But in December, work was halted after complaints about the left turn ban.

Instead, officers looked at moving the crossing further east, which led to a further consultation.

It was eventually agreed last spring to re-locate the crossing and remove the left turn ban.

But since then residents have raised concerns about their driveways being obstructed, visibility issues, speeding vehicles and congestion which led to the new parking proposals being put forward.