MP welcomes improved safety for ‘slingshot roundabout’

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15 Jan 2013

A busy roundabout used every day as a school route by dozens of Newcastle children is to undergo major safety work following a campaign led by residents and supported by the town’s Labour MP Paul Farrelly.

Newcastle’s Labour MP has written to Staffordshire County Council endorsing calls for a traffic-light controlled crossing with separate lanes for pedestrians and cyclists at the Gallowstree Lane roundabout at the bottom of Keele bank.

The roundabout has been a source of controversy since it was upgraded four years ago in a highway scheme costing £3 million.

Parents and governors at Newcastle Community High School have long complained that the layout of the roundabout poses a danger to children who use it to walk or cycle to school from Knutton, Cross Heath and Silverdale, and Mr Farrelly has supported them from the start.

As part of the reconstruction project, the approach roads to the roundabout were widened and a pedestrian crossing was installed on the Keele side of the A525. But the upgrade led to fears over its safety because of the speed of traffic entering and leaving the roundabout.

Mr Farrelly said:”Local children have always walked or cycled to school along Cemetery Road. But the roundabout expansion meant they were suddenly confronted by additional lanes of traffic coming down the hill from Keele, often at great speed, using the roundabout like a slingshot.”

Now highway chiefs have announced they are investigating a number of options, costing an estimated £120,000, to make the roundabout safer.

Mr Farrelly said: “I’m delighted that all the pressure brought to bear by the school, its governors and parents has made the County think again. I would urge as many people as possible to have their say on the plans, and tell the County to press ahead quickly with improvements.”