Residents’ anger over new road plan

OBJECTING ... Irene Stevenson, Isabel Spence and Roberta Melia.
OBJECTING ... Irene Stevenson, Isabel Spence and Roberta Melia.

A £20,000 road safety scheme has sparked concerns on a South Tyneside estate.

Pensioners Isabel Spence, Roberta Melia and Irene Stevenson objected to plans for a new road outside homes in The Hollow, Fellgate, Jarrow.

They claim they were “kept in the dark” about the proposals, which were sparked by a near-accident involving a child on the estate.

Mrs Melia, 73, said: “We have lived here about 40 years and feel we were not properly consulted.

“Plus, we don’t want to see a pathway outside our homes churned up, just to create a link road.”

Mrs Stevenson, 60, said: “We didn’t know anything about these plans. We should have been told about what’s going on.”

Meanwhile, Mrs Spence, 73, accused local ward councillors of being “sneaky” about the way the scheme had been handled.

She said: “I had words with the councillors when I spotted them inspecting The Hollow. I think we have been kept in the dark.”

But all three women agreed parking problems had increased because of nearby Fellgate Metro station and the general rise in car ownership.

The pensioners attended a meeting of local residents at Hedworthfield Community Association when the plans were formally revealed.

Coun Steve Harrison, for the Fellgate and Hedworth ward, said that many of the pensioners’ concerns had been addressed.

He said: “The problem was that none of these ladies attended a previous public meeting on the estate about the plans.

“But I think we put their minds at rest at the latest meeting, attended by 29 residents, when we explained that they would not have a huge road built to the rear of their homes.

“There was a near-accident involving a child, and the plan is to enhance road safety by improving access at The Hollow.

“This will help the emergency services and utilities, who find it very difficult to navigate behind the houses.

“The £20,000 scheme was created by the council’s highways department and will include a safe walkway next to the houses and a separate road for access.

“But this scheme is still possibly months off. We have to secure funding first and go through a formal public consultation process.”