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The Traffic In And Out Of Meadowdale Middle School

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I cannot believe the traffic going in and out of Meadowdale Middle school and just how dangerous it is for kids crossing the road! Hometime is worse with so many cars parked here,there and everywhere - making it so difficult for children to see if anything is coming. Yesterday and today, I saw kids crossing the road when cars were coming. Myself and my son stood over 5 minutes until we could safely cross! There should be a zebra crossing there so all these kids can get to school safely!

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Although I agree that the traffic in and out of Meadowdale is atrocious, it is nothing compared to further along the street at the entrance to 'Bennies'! The inconsiderate parking of parents and some TEACHERS, not only from Bennies but St Bedes and West End schools make Ridge Terrace a no go area for residents. These parents and teachers think nothing of blocking access to both back streets in Ridge Terrace, you can't get in or out, they also double park in the entrance to St Bedes and Bennies. These people also exit the school from this entrance, which I may point out is a 'NO EXIT' and a one way system! As it is sign posted properly these people are breaking the law at least once a day every school day! Is anything done? NO! Are the police handing tickets out left, right and centre? NO! You can bet your bottom dollar that if I went the wrong way up a one way street I'd be crawling with coppers! :lol: :lol:

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As it is sign posted properly these people are breaking the law at least once a day every school day! Is anything done? NO! Are the police handing tickets out left, right and centre? NO! You can bet your bottom dollar that if I went the wrong way up a one way street I'd be crawling with coppers!
Is anyone reporting this crime to the police?

we had a problem in our street where a certain young lad was doing at least twice the 20MPH speed limit (and thats being generous!).

So as to not single the lad out, my neighbour spoke to the local CPSO just saying there was a problem in the street in general, and he arrived the next day and patrolled the street for 4 hours at least that i knew of, talking to residents and generally observing.

It was noted the cars were a problem, and more than just this lad! just about everyone seemed to be breaking the limit!

For the next few days, 2 uniformed officers and a CPSO were in the street, the CPSO with a radar gun and the uniformed officer at each end, stopping traffic as needed.

The exercise was not to hand out tickets, but to educate the locals on the speed limit. no tickets were handed out as far as i'm aware, and the traffic in our street is now not perfect.... but a hell of a lot better.

I've not noticed the lad since either, and the loud bore exhaust usually gave him away a little bit when he booted it!

Anyway, the point to this ramble is, if its not reported to anyone, then what can they really do about it?

This is not the time of the Minority Report.... just yet anyway!

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Although I agree that the traffic in and out of Meadowdale is atrocious, it is nothing compared to further along the street at the entrance to 'Bennies'! The inconsiderate parking of parents and some TEACHERS, not only from Bennies but St Bedes and West End schools make Ridge Terrace a no go area for residents. These parents and teachers think nothing of blocking access to both back streets in Ridge Terrace, you can't get in or out, they also double park in the entrance to St Bedes and Bennies. These people also exit the school from this entrance, which I may point out is a 'NO EXIT' and a one way system! As it is sign posted properly these people are breaking the law at least once a day every school day! Is anything done? NO! Are the police handing tickets out left, right and centre? NO! You can bet your bottom dollar that if I went the wrong way up a one way street I'd be crawling with coppers! :lol: :lol:

NCC wants to paint double yellows at both sides of the entrance road into Bennies, in-between the Ridge Terrace houses. I think that this would penalise residents who know full well there are problems there twice a day and avoid it like the plague. It would stop any residents parking night times, weekends and school holidays, i.e. when there are no issues regarding parking. I suggested a clearway pattern with no parking between the times of say 8.00am-9.30am and 3.30pm-5.00pm during term time. I have no doubt we will see double yellows there forthwith!

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Malcolm, I was aware of the proposal of yellow lines, but what is the point! Nobody polices the one way system so who is going to bother policing the yellow lines?

Residents only park on one side of the entrance, not causing any problems, the only thing concerning the cooncil was the access for the school buses. I proposed yellow lines on the right hand side as you go in, to stop parents double parking, also signs to the back streets for resident parking only. But as you say the yellow lines will appear regardless, just another ill conceived idea by somebody trying to justify their job!

Mr Darn countless letters by residents have been sent to the schools concerned, they do not honour any of them with a reply. The main culprits abusing the one way system are the teachers, even a personal visit by yours truly resulted in achieving absolutely nothing they were just not bothered!

An accident waiting to happen!

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Merlin, I'll be honest and say i was expecting a reply that would not help the conversation at all there, so thank you for your serious reply.

(at least a quirk on abusing entrances that were intended for one way traffic!)

I find that absolutely disgraceful. Anyone with a concern put in writing should have at least had a reply! The fact the one way system is on technical "Private Property" within the school grounds leaves less room for action than usual. Does anyone know what the escalation procedure is in this case?

Surely there is someone higher up the ladder who can shed some light on the subject?

At the very least, the police could be involved with the double parking.

A school in Newsham, Blyth got the police involved when parents were inconsiderately parking outside their school, and this resulted in a police presence at school opening and closing times, issuing tickets for those who were inconsiderately parking, for a good few weeks. These measures are still checked on a regular basis, at random, so no-one dares chance it now. Perhaps an answer may be achieved by going down that route?

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Couple of general points Mr D.

NCC are to take over responsibility for things like parking tickets but as yet haven't got the policies or procedures in place to actually do it. The police might be of the opinion that actually doing day to day policing of parking problems might not be the best use of their resources at the moment, and that could very well be their position on more and more of the 'incidental' stuff given the budget cuts they will soon have upon them.

Second point and one which I am keen to make whenever I hear about problem parking at schools etc. is that the whole thing should be actively managed. For whatever reason, safety, time or even lifestyle, people have decided that dropping their kids off at school by car is their preferred option. Criminalising them isn't the solution! Much better and much more productive would be to manage the situation and make it easier and safer for parents to carry out what they see as a responsibility.

Considering the St Bennes' situation the present option is madness! Using the access between lines of terraced houses even if it's only an entrance and the exit is somewhere else is really unsatisfactory. Anyone see the amount of concrete laid on top of the recently exposed water pipes running along Ridge Terrace? It is about a foot think and obviously there to act as a lintel and try to protect the fragile pipes from the weight of traffic passing above. The road is one of the main arterial routes into Bedlington and it also has three school entrances within a quarter mile. You would have to have the intelligence of an amoeba not to foresee traffic problems here!

A possible solution, put in a relief road from the Westlea turning off the Nedderton road to the Newcastle road and have the St Bennes' and West End first school entrances and exits off it. Of course even that doesn't cure the Meadowdale problem, and in this day and age would probably be cost prohibitive, but at least it does address two out of the three.

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Merlin, I'll be honest and say i was expecting a reply that would not help the conversation at all there, so thank you for your serious reply.

(at least a quirk on abusing entrances that were intended for one way traffic!)

I find that absolutely disgraceful. Anyone with a concern put in writing should have at least had a reply! The fact the one way system is on technical "Private Property" within the school grounds leaves less room for action than usual. Does anyone know what the escalation procedure is in this case?

Surely there is someone higher up the ladder who can shed some light on the subject?

At the very least, the police could be involved with the double parking.

A school in Newsham, Blyth got the police involved when parents were inconsiderately parking outside their school, and this resulted in a police presence at school opening and closing times, issuing tickets for those who were inconsiderately parking, for a good few weeks. These measures are still checked on a regular basis, at random, so no-one dares chance it now. Perhaps an answer may be achieved by going down that route?

My children attend west end and they did involve the police once , if my memory serves it was last year, the police did attend the area on a morning drop off time and after school for around 10 mins, they did hand out a few tickets, and came for a few nights in a row but then nothing ! So its back to normal.. yesterday the cars were parked outside westend from the barriers on the left leading right to the entrance for the red lion carpark (including the actual end of the path) so us with pushchairs where barred in and couldnt leave the footpath without cutting up the hill on the grass verge and crossing there. And may i say, two police cars passed this parking, with two being on double yellow lines and the pavement being completely barred if you had been crossing from the redlion side to head for the schools...did they stop and move them on or ticket them? Of course not! Bedlington needs traffic wardens !! This would put a stop to all the stupidness , when the wheel clamping business was operating in the red lion carpark ... after the first clamping, nobody dared park in it again at school run time !!!

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Its not just the parking thats an issue it's like a game of chicken to cross the roads with young kids around the whole school area of Ridge Terrace and the road leading to Meadowdale, during school run times. I agree there needs more done about parking and including looking at sensible crossings around the whole area, after all most families live within a 15 minute walk to the schools around the town. Speak to the Lollipop man and ask his opinion on the roads in the area, he has tried complaining to the Police and Council about it all.

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Its not just the parking thats an issue it's like a game of chicken to cross the roads with young kids around the whole school area

On this particular note, it amazes me how many mothers try and cross either side of the barriers instead of using the crossing, I saw a mother today with 3 kids doing the usual 'if I put the nose of the pushchair far enough into the path of traffic then they'll stop' outside West End gates', I looked at her and shook my head in disbelief. I can't believe some people are so reckless and stupid to risk their kids and their own lives for the sake of not wanting to 'cause a fuss' and stop traffic. And on the parking issue, I live near West End and it is like dodgems trying to get past cars with approx 80% of the car on the path with their doors flung open.

Another area which suffers is near Whitley Memorial, I lived in Eden Court and was constantly plagued with inconsiderate drivers blocking my drive as I needed to leave for work myself, even challenging one of them resulted in 'I'll just be a minute'. So after that I used to stand with a camera pretending to take photo's of number plates which would then be taken as evidence blocking access to a private driveway, when they started complaining they were offered the helpful advice of not parking there in future, and if they did then they could expect their car to not be there when they got back as I was going to hire a HIAB to lift cars which were blocking not just mine but other drives as well. The school knew about the problem but were powerless to do anything, but not long after the yellow lines were painted, and harmony was restored :)

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Andy,

I totally agree that parents trying to cross the road are beyond belief at times! I do sympathise with you and your neighbours who live around the area of West End as iv'e witnessed myself the "i can park anywhere" attitude of some, however on defence of the school they have several times sent out newsletters asking parents not to cause obstructions.

I think the answer would be to allow permit parking only during school times double yellow line the other areas and instantly ticket anyone who parks illegally ,i can gurantee you after 3-4 vehicles it would stop as word would spread, after all this pretty much happens in nearly all other towns and cities for exactly the same reasons as Bedlington is suffering and surely the safety of kids attending school should be a priority and the very parents themselves should set an example.

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7509_signs.jpg

Mr Darn, this is the sign that is in Bennies and conforms to the highway code for public highways. If it had been a white arrow on a dark blue background then this sign is for private roads. So I conclude that the road through Bennies is a public highway and as such comes under the jurisdiction of the law!

Also there are two whopping big signs on the gate posts like this

TMT053.jpg

And if they can't see these then they shouldn't be driving in the first place because they must be BLIND

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7509_signs.jpg

Mr Darn, this is the sign that is in Bennies and conforms to the highway code for public highways. If it had been a white arrow on a dark blue background then this sign is for private roads. So I conclude that the road through Bennies is a public highway and as such comes under the jurisdiction of the law!

Oh crap! i had one just like that in my room as a kid! :blink:

I know what you mean though. Private or not, signs are there for a reason. The point is, just like in a supermarket car park, the signs conform to the highway code so people recognise and understand their intent, but just like the double yellows in the supermarkets, they are unenforceable by law. Private companies are required to police these sites, and extra signage is required stating who polices them, what the fines are etc. before anything can be done, unlike on the public highway, where they are a set fine etc. and policed by the police (or a department thereof)

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You know, I know and everybody else knows that it doesn't matter what we say or do, nothing will be done about! Even if there is something done you can bet it will only make the situation worse!

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You know, I know and everybody else knows that it doesn't matter what we say or do, nothing will be done about! Even if there is something done you can bet it will only make the situation worse!

Com'on Merlin you took the first steps to tackling that situation! If you don't keep it up the system wins by default!

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what ever happened to walking to school or taking the bus?? I cannot remember any kids being driven to either whitley memorial or westridge in the 50,s or 60,s and no matter the weather if we didnt have money for Raisbecks we walked......

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Back in the 50's and 60's, a man could support his family alone, and the housewife had the time to get the kids ready and off to school on the way to do the shopping etc.

Nowerdays, you need two incomes (on one very good one) to be able to afford to live, unless you claim a benifit, meaning the only chance to work is whilst the kids are at school.

this means kids are dropped off on the commute now, with a deadline to meet and not enough time to park elsewhere and walk.

Whilst i can see it from their point of view, this does not help matters, and something still needs to be done.

Relocating the schools that are run down to easier accessible areas would be a start, instead of renovating them, and the creation of car parks big enough to use is another step.

Perhaps its time to relocate the allotments next to bennies to make way for decent parking? an entrance to both schools could be created from this location, and a one-way system directing traffic out by the ridge farm (as is in place, but ignored) could be enforced, and i'm sure would eliminate alot of the problem.

the issue then is, where should the allotments be moved too?

Whats the time limit before Cemeteries can be re-used? is the old west lea one due for a clear out? ir is that earmarked for good now?

not a good idea to build on, in my opinion, but i don't see why it could not be used for allotments, so long as enough time has passed.

Or perhaps part of the 20 acre field? what's the law on that? does allotments count as removing green belt?

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Another, less drastic method, would be a tier system, where some kids start at 8 and finish at 2, others start at 9 finishing at 3 and the rest at 10 till 4.

this would instantly cut traffic by 1/3 and allow more flexibility for working hours of parents, being able to start work and hour earlier or an hour later respectively.

Of course, this would have to be a permanent decision, and slots would have to be filled, but i think it could work.

I know at my workplace, they would welcome flexibility like that!

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Mr Darn, you are on overkill here. What kind of time scale do you want for the poor kids who are buried in the cemetery, or anyone else for that matter! As for the allotments, we are trying to solve the problem of entry and exit from the schools not magnify the problem! Back to the cemetery, I have family buried there, to suggest putting the allotments there is an abomination. I do not fancy digging up any of my relatives to plant a few brussel sprouts! :|

Please do not mention moving the allotments, you never know who is reading this and we wouldn't want to give them any funny ideas :thumbsdown:

Also the tier system wouldn't cut the taffic at all. You should see them parking at 11:45am to pick their kids up. No Mr Darn I think it's back to the drawing board here :beer:

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Malcolm I'm not giving up, but short of getting Mr Plodd involved (which will be the last resort) I'm at that point where every avenue seems to be blocked, no pun intended.

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Merlin,

If you get at least 10 people to sign up to concerns you can then petition the NCC Area Meeting and force some sort of detailed inspection of the problem at least, if not a solution. (That was the Blyth meeting.)

Also raise the point at the next Bedlington Partnership meeting, the chair will take it up for you.

Last but by no means least the Town Council were asked to look at this but decided the sticking plaster of yellow paint was the appropriate answer. I disagreed with them but there was no one else there to back me up so…………. There are Town Councillors on this site ask them to take the issue up for you.

These are the ways you can influence the decision, use the system to your advantage for a change!

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