Safety concerns over accident-hit junction after cyclist’s death

Robert Smith at the junction of A689 and Dalton Back Road with Greatham Village. Photograph by FRANK REID
Robert Smith at the junction of A689 and Dalton Back Road with Greatham Village. Photograph by FRANK REID

The chair of a residents group says the latest tragic death at a Hartlepool junction adds weight to residents’ calls for the accident spot to be made safe.

Robert Smith called on the developers of the major South West Extension and council planners to add signals to the Dalton Back Lane–Greatham turn off on the A689 on the outskirts of town.

Robert Smith at the junction of A689 and Dalton Back Road with Greatham Village. Photograph by FRANK REID

Robert Smith at the junction of A689 and Dalton Back Road with Greatham Village. Photograph by FRANK REID

It follows the death last week of cyclist William Angus, 58, from Hartlepool, after a collision between his bike and a car at the Greatham turn off.

It happened just over a week after Mr Smith, of the Fens Residents’ Association, appealed to people to lobby Hartleool Borough Council over the junction as part of a new consultation on the new Hartlepool Local Plan.

Mr Smith said: “This awful, tragic accident has deeply moved everyone, not least those who have concerns about the casualty record of this horrendous junction.

“Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends of the gentleman.

“It comes too soon after the last fatality in December 2012 and it really draws attention to the fact that something must be done whilst nearby development in the form of the South West Extension can provide the developer contributions to turn the junction into a safe, signalised crossroads which could also act as the entry/exit for the new estate.

“I think that the developers and all others involved in the planning process will now surely get down to adjusting the detail of the plans so that the conversion of this accident black spot is assured.

“That would most certainly significantly reduce future fatalities and serious injuries.”

The dual carriageway carries a national speed limit and single lanes of Dalton Back Lane and a road leading into Greatham village join it.

Planning permission was granted last year for the South West Extension being built by Persimmon homes, which features 1,200 new homes and other facilities.

But Mr Smith said there was still an opportunity to influence the issue as the development features in Hartlepool council’s draft Local Plan which is out to public consultation.

He added: “Planners need to receive as much evidence as possible that people have strong opinions about this issue.”

Alan Hopwood, director-in-charge for Persimmon Homes Teesside, said: “The principle of the site access via a new traffic light controlled junction onto the A689 has been subject to the consultation process throughout the planning application and deemed satisfactory by Hartlepool Borough Council highways engineers.

“The location of the junction is supported by a robust traffic assessment which includes several other highway improvements to the local area including a reduction in the speed limit along the A689.”

The residents’ association is also writing to the council to ask it not to sign any legal agreement, setting out how developer contributions will be used, until the issue has been resolved.

Comments can be emailed to: planningpolicy@hartlepool.gov.uk, or by post to PlanningPolicy, Hartlepool Borough Council, Civic Centre, Victoria Road, Hartlepool, TS24 8AY.