Hundreds Sign Petition to Save Slip Road
Over 500 local residents have signed a petition launched on Friday urging Highways England to rethink their plans to remove a vital link road that connects South West Denton to the A1. Since hearing of the plans a week ago, many local residents have expressed their anger to close the road at the end of Birchfield Gardens.
The closure is planned as part of a scheme to create three lanes on the A1 from Scotswood to North Brunton by making the lanes narrower and reduce the speed of the A1 from 70mph to 50mph.
The link road at Birchfield Gardens was included in plans when the A1 was constructed because a number of local access roads were going to be lost as a result when the A1 was finished. Highways England are now being accused by residents of reneging on the deal they did at the time.
Jason Smith, Newcastle First’s spokesman in Lemington Ward, is leading the charge against the plans by organising the petition and working with concerned local residents to deliver a large number of letters to affected residents. Many people were unaware of the proposal due to the Highways England leaflet being delivered with a take away menu.
Jason said: “It is clear that, when the slip road is closed, there will be a massive impact on everyone living here.
“Highways England officials have developed plans without thinking through the impact on local people and the knock-on effect to other local roads. They have failed to give a reasonable explanation about what will change on the A1 to justify reneging on a promise to local residents when the A1 was constructed.
“It is clear these plans have been cooked up by people who know nothing about the local area, don’t have to use local roads and don’t care about the impact on the lives of local people.
“If the slip road at Birchfield Gardens is closed, access to and from South West Denton will be impossible in winter, it will increase pressure on existing congestion hotspots near the West Road and Scotswood and increase journey times for people living in Dumpling Hall, South West Denton and other parts of Lemington.
“Since we launched the campaign a few days ago, hundreds of local residents have signed the petition urging Highways England to rethink the plans and asking Newcastle City Council to send an objection on our behalf. I am grateful to each and every person who has signed the petition.”
Jason is repeating his call for Highways England to withdraw the plans.
“Many people signing the petition have expressed their disgust at the Highways England plans. I am calling on them to withdraw their plans immediately and confirm that the agreement with local residents when the A1 was constructed will be honoured.”