Green Light for New Puffin Crossing
Road safety improvements are set to get started next week with the installation of a new pedestrian crossing on a busy South Shields route.
From Monday 15th March, work will begin to install a new signalised puffin crossing on Galsworthy Road, between its junctions with Whiteleas Way and Benton Road. A puffin crossing can detect when people are using it as well as monitor traffic flows to help ensure vehicles are not waiting needlessly.
The scheme, which also involves removing the existing pedestrian refuge, comes following historical road safety concerns in the area and a public consultation held earlier this year.
Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety and a Whiteleas ward member, said: "Keeping people safe on our roads is a key priority for us.
"This route is a particularly busy stretch of road, with traffic moving between South Shields and Boldon Colliery. It is also flanked by residents' homes on one side and a children's play area on the other.
"It is great news that work will start to replace the current pedestrian island with a new puffin crossing. These particular types of crossing work really well for both the pedestrian and driver, ensuring pedestrians have time to cross the road without causing any unnecessary delays to traffic."
The improvements have been welcomed by fellow Whiteleas ward members, Councillors Bill Brady and Doreen Purvis, and are being funding from the Council's road safety budget and a contribution from the West Shields, Cleadon and East Boldon Community Area Forum.
Speaking on behalf of the Whiteleas ward councillors, Councillor Purvis said: "The Whiteleas ward members have been working with officers to look at ways of improving road safety in this area for some time now and it really is fantastic to see a scheme coming to fruition.
"Puffin crossings can sense people crossing the road and will halt traffic until the crossing is clear. This is particularly useful for those with disabilities as well as the many children and older people in this area."
The improvements are expected to take around five weeks to complete.
During this time, temporary two-way traffic signals will be in operation, enabling the works to be carried out safely. Pedestrian diversion routes will also be put in place.
Councillor Gibson added: "This new crossing is ultimately going to increase safety in this area. We apologise in advance for any disruption the installation may cause and would ask for people's patience during this time."