Council chiefs take action on traffic at South Shields recycling centre

Middlefield Industrial Estate business owners angry over Recycling Village  traffic
Middlefield Industrial Estate business owners angry over Recycling Village traffic

Businesses have put the brakes on threats to quit a South Tyneside trading estate blighted by traffic tailbacks from a recycling centre.

They say the situation at Middlefields has drastically improved since April when they warned council bosses they may leave.
Their ultimatum came amid complaints about access into and out of the Recycling Village at Tyne Dock, South Shields, caused by lengthy road jams.

Some said their van fleets faced delays of around an hour, a situation costing them money and threatening their livelihoods.

At least one now plans to stay put after seeing a marked improvement in traffic flow and better consultation with South Tyneside Council.

Another has put moving plans on hold but has warned it will monitor the situation closely – and may up and off if the new smooth flow goes into reverse.

Glendale Transport, which delivers and collects pallets and has about 25 vehicles going to and from its unit each day, was among those threatening to leave.

Today the firm’s Matt Douglass said: “Things are much, much better now and we are no longer considering moving away.

“The council said it would set up an advisory board, which it has done, and that has helped.”

But Joanne Bryne, office administrator at Carparts Trade Supplies, which has 10 vans and two motorbikes going to and from the site each hour, reserved judgement.

She said: “The situation has improved fantastically well, but ours wasn’t a shock tactic, moving was a serious consideration.

“Other companies were saying exactly the same as us, that we had been in touch with the council about these problems for two years before anything was done.

“The council has set up a user group as I said it would and a meeting has been held. Another is due any day now, we will have to see what happens.”

Complaints about tailbacks at the recycling centre first publicly surfaced last summer when users said they were having to queue for about 45 minutes to offload rubbish.

Councillor Nancy Maxwell, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said South Tyneside Council remained committed to alleviating problems with traffic and to reducing the impact on businesses.

She added: “We are currently trialling an earlier opening time of 8am and continue to monitor visitor numbers and usage during this time.

“We are also collating information from a recent traffic survey, which will help us to better understand site usage and look for trends in customer habits.

“In addition, the council is considering what changes can be made to the road layout and markings to the feeder lane at the site entrance as well as investigating how its current sites can be improved or extended over the long term to improve residents’ experience and reduce waiting times.

“We are pleased the first User Group meeting was well attended and viewed positively by local businesses. We intend to hold further meetings in future, although no dates have been set as yet.”