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Monday, 28 July 2014

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Call for better traffic lights in Maryport

A Maryport man has hit out at Cumbria County Council for not improving traffic lights at the town’s busy Netherhall Corner.

Shaun Ritson, of Church Street, questioned why the council hadn’t carried out improvements to the capacity of the lights on the main A596.

His criticism followed a planning application submitted to Allerdale council by Story Group to build a 152-home estate nearby, off Netherhall Road.

Some objectors to the scheme claim it would cause traffic congestion and danger to pupils crossing to Netherhall School.

Mr Ritson claimed to have found a number of issues when he analysed statistics from a transport assessment carried out by WYG on behalf of Story Group.

WYG said that Story Group would provide the county council with a contribution towards an improvement scheme drawn up for the Netherhall Corner lights.

The scheme will ensure that the traffic signals operate with greater spare capacity after the proposed development than if there were no development and no junction improvement.

They said that the Netherhall Corner signals will operate at 100 per cent capacity in 2021, irrespective of whether the proposed development goes ahead, meaning the traffic lights will be taking as much traffic as possible.

The traffic lights currently run at 90 per cent capacity during morning and evening peak hours, and Story Group intends to improve the system so that in 2021 the lights would run at about 80 per cent capacity, a 10 per cent improvement.

Mr Ritson welcomed improvements to the lights but argued that the 10 per cent capacity improvement would be wasted on increased traffic from the proposed development.

He said: “My argument is that Cumbria County Council should be carrying out these improvements.

“They did have plans but they were never done. The public deserve an explanation.

“Any capacity generated should be used for the benefit of the town and making Netherhall Corner safer.

“Why isn’t the county council doing this and making the corner a lot safer?

“The majority of the capacity generated from improvements will be wasted.”

A county council spokeswoman said: “The traffic lights scheme at Netherhall Corner has been a requested scheme that we’ve considered in the past.

“However, other projects have taken priority and we haven’t had the funding to implement this scheme as well as higher priority projects."

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