ABUSE of a one-way system by speeding drivers is “an accident waiting to happen”, fears a concerned councillor.
Labour councillor Marjorie James, who represents the Manor House ward on Hartlepool Borough Council, has slammed motorists for often choosing to ignore the new one-way system covering Arncliffe Gardens, Wansbeck Gardens, Eamont Gardens and Belmont Gardens.
The one-way system was introduced in March in an effort to relieve traffic pressure on the four roads and to improve safety for both drivers and other road users.
But Coun James, who lives in Arncliffe Gardens, said: “For week after week I have watched vehicles come down this road the wrong way.
“To make matters worse, they constantly exceed the 20mph speed limit in their hurry to get to the end of the road before they meet an on-coming vehicle.
“We have a number of families with children who play in the street and I fear that this situation is simply an accident waiting to happen.”
Fellow Labour councillor Peter Jackson, who chairs the council’s neighbourhood services committee, has backed Coun James’ stance.
Coun Jackson said: “Driving the wrong way down a one-way street is not only dangerous, but also illegal.
“I would ask speeding drivers one question - if a child were to run out from behind a parked car would you be able to stop in time?
“I would urge drivers to change their ways before it is too late and someone is either seriously injured or killed.”
Both councillors have welcomed the news the police are clamping down on offending drivers.
Paul Watson, the council’s road safety officer, said: “Drivers are breaking the law on two counts - speeding and failing to conform to a traffic sign.
“I have raised this matter with the police and they have agreed to carry out some enforcement action in the area.
“As a council, we are also monitoring the one-way system and plan to use our camera car to identify motorists who are breaking the law with a view to issuing warning notices.”
Inspector Lee Rukin, of Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “We have been made aware that drivers have been contravening this particular one-way system and speeding.
“It is unacceptable that this is happening and we are taking enforcement action to combat the problem whilst also educating drivers about the dangers of their actions.”