Traffic lights to be introduced at Hartlepool accident blackspot

Cheryl Walton at the scene of her accident at the northbound junction of the A19 and the A179.
Cheryl Walton at the scene of her accident at the northbound junction of the A19 and the A179.

Traffic lights are set to be introduced at an accident blackspot as one motorist said those who used the junction were “taking their life into their own hands”.

Teacher Cheryl Walton, 55, was involved in a collision as she was turning from the A19 sliproad onto the A179 last month.

Cheryl Walton at the scene of her accident at the northbound junction of the A19 and the A179, is now calling for the introduction of traffic lights

Cheryl Walton at the scene of her accident at the northbound junction of the A19 and the A179, is now calling for the introduction of traffic lights

It was the latest in a string of collisions at the junction, and council chiefs have now confirmed safety measures will be stepped up as part of an £800,000 project to install traffic lights.

Mrs Walton, who is head of modern languages at St Hilds School, in King Oswy Drive, has used the junction for the last 15 years.

She suffered heavy bruising in a collision there on Friday, March 17, with her car written off as a result of the crash.

She said: “It was better when there were temporary traffic lights there, when they were doing some work on the road.

It’s like you’re taking your life into your own hands every time you turn onto the A179

Cheryl Walton

“You felt safe.

“Now it’s like you’re taking your life into your own hands every time you turn onto the A179.

“There have been a lot of crashes there and I just don’t feel safe.

“It’s good that traffic lights are going to be installed to make it more safe, because I fear there will be a fataility if nothing is done.”

Cheryl Walton at the scene of her accident at the northbound junction of the A19 and the A179, is now calling for the introduction of traffic lights

Cheryl Walton at the scene of her accident at the northbound junction of the A19 and the A179, is now calling for the introduction of traffic lights

Three people were left injured after an incident on March 29, when a Nissan Almera and a Vauxhall Corsa collided at the junction of the A179 and the B1280 onto the A19 southbound.

There were also tailbacks on the road on March 21 – four days after Mrs Walton’s crash – after another collision.

Mrs Walton, from Ingleby Barwick, near Stockton, said: “I was coming from the A19 northbound and came off on the slip road to turn right onto the A179.

“There’s always so much traffic trying to get out.

“It’s such a risky junction and it needs that bit more safety.”

Dave Wafer, Durham County Council’s strategic traffic manager, said: “Funding of £800,000 for the installation of traffic lights at the A19/A179 Sheraton interchange was recently announced by the Department for Transport.

“This junction is the joint responsibility of ourselves and Highways England and we are currently carrying out preliminary design work with a view to lights being installed in 2018.”

It comes after Durham County Council previously carried out safety work and imposed a prohibition of u-turn order over a 255ft stretch of the road and anyone seen flouting the law faces a fixed penalty notice or prosecution.

The safety measures were sparked after town man Colin Brown, 60, was killed at the spot in May. It was believed he was doing a u-turn when his Citroen C4 collided with a minibus full of passengers on the B1280 just yards from the Hart bypass.

In July 2013, Joan Coulson, 85, from Durham, was killed when the car she was a passenger in collided with a black Mitsubishi Warrior on the A179.