Why there are concerns over Hartlepool A19 safety plans
A community leader has expressed concerns about closing central reservations on the nearby A19 before a new bypass is built.
Peter Hutchinson, chairman of Elwick Parish Council, was reacting to joint plans Hartlepool Borough Council and Highways England to close three crossing points and completely ban U-turns on a six-mile stretch of the dual carriageway between Sheraton and Wolviston.
He said closing the two gaps at the junctions of Coal Lane and North Lane before a separate £18m bypass was completed would cause problems for villagers.
He added: “The parish council are against any closures until the bypass is done.
“We know it’s a little bit of trouble but how does anybody get north from Elwick or Dalton if they can’t cross the road?”
He said having to travel to the Wolviston junction would add six or seven miles to journeys.
Councillor Hutchinson added: “My own personal view is they will not gain anything by closing them because people use the other cross overs.
“I know there have been accidents [at Elwick and Dalton] but most deaths have been on the farm crossings.”
The parish council has argued for some time against the granting of permissions for new homes around High Tunstall, in Hartlepool, until measures are in place to divert the increasing numbers of vehicles that travel through the village to get to the A19.
Rural West ward councillor Brenda Loynes said safety must come first.
She said: “It will have an impact on the villages, especially farmers, who I have every sympathy for but road safety comes first.”
Coun Loynes encouraged people to take part in the new consultation exercise. Further details are available here.