120. Miss Ward
asked the Minister of Transport on what date the Tynemouth Corporation first requested permission to install traffic lights at the junction of Lerham Road and the Coast Road; what was the dates of letters requesting reconsideration from the local authority and from the hon. Member for Tyne-mouth; and the date on which a reply was sent.
§ Mr. Barnes
The Tynemouth Corporation first applied in September, 1948, but agreed that consideration of the application should be suspended to allow them to study the question further. They renewed the application in March, 1949, and then also proposed the imposition of a speed limit. They agreed to drop the latter proposal and renewed their application for traffic lights in August. 1949. After various discussions with the divisional road engineer the council again pressed their case and in May, 1950, after the fullest possible investigations the council were informed that the installation of traffic signals could not be approved.
The hon. Member wrote to me on 21st July this year and I replied on 11th August, promising a further investigation into the increase of traffic which was said to have recently occurred. This has taken place and I am now in a position to reply to her further letters of 13th and 23rd October.
121. Miss Ward
asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that a fatal accident occurred at the junction of the 173W Coast Road and Lerham Road, Tyne-mouth, on 8th November; that the local authority have been refused permission to install traffic lights; and that, at the inquest, the coroner added a rider stating that traffic lights should be installed; and what action has been taken.
§ Mr. Barnes
I am aware of this unfortunate accident. The hon. Member wrote to me in July suggesting that conditions had changed in the last two years and I promised to make an investigation. A traffic census has now been taken and I find that traffic has only increased from 329 vehicles an hour in 1948 to 392 per hour in 1950, of which only 31 came from one side road and 15 from the other. These figures fall very considerably below the minimum volume normally regarded as warranting traffic signals, and I am advised that the best solution for conditions at this junction would be to improve the layout. I am, therefore, putting this proposal to the highway authority.