Was it worth it for just 18 inches?

So after 2 months of roadworks, the cutting down of 6 trees and a lot of scratching heads Lobley Hill Road is around 18 inches wider. Apprarently there are more traffic lights and news lane markings to come but after all that the road is still only 18inches wider. That’s not even wide enough for an extra bike lane never mind a new lane of traffic.

Now when the new lanes arrive in a couple of weeks time I suspect we can look forward to regular tailbacks on to the Lobley Hill Roundabout and beyond as slow moving trucks struggle up the hill. Currently there is an overtaking lane – but there won’t be in the future – just one long snake of slow moving traffic. Time will tell whether the Gateshead Council planners got it right or have scored a great own goal with these changes.

6 comments to Was it worth it for just 18 inches?

  • LocalLad

    Not sure what your gripe is? The plans were circulated and approved by the council. The work isn’t even finished yet and you’re complaining…

  • David Armstrong

    I totally agree with the first comments. All that will happen is that Lobley Hill Road will become gridlocked with traffic piled up in all direction, Whickham Highway, Watergate Bank and all the way up to Bensham. The scheme was ridiculous from the outset. As for the money it must have cost it is nice to know that the council know how to spend it wisely NOT.

  • Karin Clark

    Well now the traffic lights HAVE arrived and what a flamin’ disaster!!!! 30 mins in a lovely queue from Sunniside to reach the roundabout at the A1 – a trip that used to take me 10 mins at the most. Marvellous. Give the planners a medal for turning a bearable journey to work into an absolute nightmare.

    It wouldn’t be quite so bad, if it was not for the fact that frequent commuters on the route all saw this disaster coming from the moment the additional traffic lights were erected! The roundabout didn’t function too badly as such, so why try to fix something that wasn’t broken!?

  • NpowerStu


    Well everyhting has been completed and the tail backs are just silly at peak times!

    I have sent an email to Gateshead roads department telling them how bad it during rush hour and asking them what they are going to do about it….probably nothing!

  • Paul

    These new lane markings and traffic lights have been in operation for a few weeks now and all I can say is an utter disgrace that council has spent so much money turning a slight bottleneck into total mayhem.
    Are the people that conceive such schemes totally incapable or rational thought? The backlog of traffic is now totally crazy at evening peak time, with tailback now causing huge problems on Maingate roundabout. What’s worse, this is now not only restricted to peak times and can now causing traffic problem when previous it would be free flowing. Assuming that all this was to give an extra few metres of bus lane in readiness for the propose park and ride scheme at Watergate. They may have arguably save buses a few seconds descending the Lobley Hill, but assuming these buses will be making round trips to Gateshead. This mean on the back journey they will be stuck in these newly created jams with the rest of us.
    Never have I experience a traffic scheme have such a detrimental impact on traffic flow.
    As for the so called consultation process, I seem to recall an invitation to a display of the plans at Lobley hill library some years ago. This was of some interest to me, but as during the library opening time for this event I had to work this was not convenient for me. Furthermore when raising questions with our local councillor about possible impact of the then proposed changes we are then put in touch with the very same people in the highways department that conceived the idea. They have totally closed minds and totally blind confidence that they know best.
    Sorry we were given no option but to accept what these so called professionals inflict on us. But in this case they have been proved to be a bunch of money wasting clowns.

  • Karin Clark

    Official response, for anyone who was interested, is as follows: -

    From: Ian McCran [mailto:IanMcCran@Gateshead.Gov.UK]
    Sent: 23 September 2009 14:17
    To: Clark Karin
    Subject: RE: New Traffic Lights @ Lobley Hill/Team Valley Roundabout (A692/A1)

    Dear Madam,
    Thank you for your email which has been passed to me to issue a response. The issues that you have raised have been noted.
    Since the new traffic signals on Lobley Hill Roundabout were switched on I can confirm they have been monitored and accordingly adjustments are being made to the signal timings in order to optimise the flows and will continue to be implemented over the next few days.
    Ian McCran
    Transport Strategy Team
    Gateshead Council

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