Do traffic problems on Cornforth Lane Coxhoe need to be sorted?
You may have seen that Durham County Council are currently carrying out a Statutory consultation on camera enforcement of the ‘No Entry – Except Buses’ restriction at the school end of Cornforth Lane which closes on 4 November 2020. If there are no objections from the Emergency Services or Bus operators a public consultation will follow.
It shouldn’t be necessary, but sadly many cars, vans and trucks regularly abuse it, and often at high speed. There have been a number accidents, thankfully none involving school children.
Under the assumptions of the emerging County Durham Plan it was envisaged that Coxhoe would not continue to grow. As the village has grown in recent years, so has the school so that Coxhoe children can go to their local school.
The problems caused by residents from the rest of the village for the residents of Cornforth Lane have been a long-standing issue that Coxhoe Parish Council has tried to influence, holding numerous consultations and public meetings on the subject, but only limited improvements have arisen such as the Sanderson Street restrictions and close to the current Doctors surgery. This is also a vital bus route.
With the housing developments that are under way another extension is required, and so it is proposed to convert the existing hall in to two additional classrooms and build a new hall fit for a full 2 form entry primary school. Works are likely to start in 2022/23. Unfortunately, this growth and increased car usage this has made parking and traffic issues on Cornforth Lane much worse.
Coxhoe Parish Council had the benefit of two Newcastle University students who produced a report for their degrees in Town Planning in May 2018 on potential issues for Coxhoe Parish Council’s emerging Neighbourhood Plan, including the school issue and lack of play space for the school, local teams and community, and they came up with a number of long-term suggested solutions.
The Red (45,000 square metres) and Blue (40,000 square metres) fields behind Cornforth Lane are potentially at risk of further market led development unless protected by a Neighbourhood Plan or possibly designated for community infrastructure as suggested by the Newcastle University students’ report. At its meeting in June, the Parish Council made some bold proposals to try to tackle these issues.
If Coxhoe Parish Council was able to buy the Red and Blue Fields, a number of long-term solutions could potentially be delivered:
1. Disposing of up to a 20 metre strip to each of the residents of Gladstone Terrace, Kenmir Buildings, Barker Buildings, Garden Crescent and Grove Cottages, all on Cornforth Lane (shown edged yellow on the plan), 43 properties in total, to provide them with two off street parking spaces, garden ground, a rear fence and a tree belt (shown edged green) to protect from noise from Stray Aid and the motorway. this could help offset the land purchase costs for the Parish Council;
2. Another strip of tree planting could be installed along the boundary with Stray Aid also shown edged green, which could also have a considerable positive impact on residents living quite a way from Stray Aid but suffering from noise effects from it;
3. Further parking could be provided for the Cricket Ground and Active Life Centre extending by the existing car park and stopping cars being displaced into Linden Grove;
4. Provide for off street parking for the extended Coxhoe Primary School in the area shown edged purple for the 43 percent of parents who currently choose to or ‘need’ to drive their children to school. The access could be from a new fourth entrance onto the mini roundabout avoiding the need for these cars to access Cornforth Lane at all;
5. It could provide a much safer entrance to Stray Aid, which is a charitable trust;
6. Further parking restriction could also be considered on Cornforth Lane, which could remove the availability and ability for school traffic to park on Cornforth Lane, whilst not adversely affecting those living on Cornforth Lane because of the additional yellow off-street parking provided for them;
7. Provide a much safer bus route, and walking to school route and massively reduce the number of accidents and damage to cars reported each year on Cornforth Lane;
8. The remainder of the area could be turned in to two further football / sports fields for both community, school and use by local teams such as Coxhoe United, rather than displacing half of their teams elsewhere for training and matches. These additional fields could then potentially qualify Coxhoe for significant FA funding for conversion of these fields into 3G pitches.
Clearly none of the above issues are possible without land ownership. The Parish Council has therefore had exploratory discussions with the landowners of the Red and Blue land, to see if they would be prepared to consider disposing of the land to the Parish Council for community use, and if so at what cost. We await formal responses from them.
This may seem like a considerable investment of time and resource by the Parish Council, which would largely benefit the residents of one street of 200 houses, BUT, that street is blighted by the location of our Outstanding Primary School at the end of it, and problems caused by parents from all over the rest of the village who are likely to continue to drive to school.
If all of our proposals come together, however, we could have school, doctors and leisure facilities which are fit for the size of our village, all of which are things that have been sought for a very long time?
To see other consultations, please visit our Consulting our Communities page.
Thank you to all who took part. The results are summarised below.
These results will be used by the Parish Council to inform its considerations and decision making. It is clear that not everyone agrees however the Parish Council is committed to doing its best to represent the views of residents.
Many of these activities are longer term aims for an already busy Parish Council, which means that plans and considering resource requirements will take place over coming months and quite possibly years. They also involve working with partners and other organisations, which again takes time and consideration.
Most of the comments received are also below. Please note that identifying characteristics have been removed to remove the risk of people being identified, but the Parish Clerk is considering all responses, including those where a response was requested. The Parish Clerk will be contacting people who requested a response, and when appropriate those who said they would like to be kept informed; please bear with Officers while this takes place.
Consultation on traffic problems on Cornforth Lane, Coxhoe survey results
Do traffic problems on Cornforth Lane Coxhoe need to be sorted?
a) Would you support the Parish Council acquiring land behind Cornforth Lane, if possible, to provide additional off-street residents parking off Cornforth Lane and potential new parking restriction?
b) Would you support the Parish Council acquiring land behind Cornforth Lane to provide drop off and pick up parking off the roundabout to remove school traffic from Cornforth Lane?
c) Would you support the Parish Council acquiring land next to the Active Life Centre to provide additional football and sports fields for local teams to play in the village?
1. I am strongly opposed to the Parish Council purchasing land to provide private gardens and car parking for inviduals unless all costs are borne by those private individuals. I am not sure if it is even legal. I am seriously concerned that the Parish Council is entering into consultations with people before a fully costed option is determined. It is at the very least giving a false hope to individuals. I am more concerned that the Parish Council is attempting to resolve issues outside of a Parish Plan it has apparently abandoned or a Neighbourhood Plan it is progressing without community support. Year on year we are having 10%-15% precept increases forced on us without any proper justification or consultation at a time of difficulty. Any chance you could relay my drive and provide an extra car parking space for me?
2. School parking really needs sorting out
3. I have already responded but there are additional comments I wish to make. I do not feel that the Parish Council can justify the whole village paying to resolve the problems a limited fee are experiencing. If the residents of Cornforth Lane are prepared to pay for ALL the costs of having a new garden with two car parking bays as well as fencing and tree planning including all the staff time of project managing and delivering a not thought out proposal AT NO COST to the precept payer then how could anyone object to that. It is a project of a massive scale though. How long and at what cost was a similar much, much small exercise at Sanderson Street. Has any real thought been given even to the logistics. It is not the Parish Council responsibility to resolve the issues that are effectively the responsibility of the Education Authority and the Highway Authority. Why should the Coxhoe precept payer pay for something they should expect through payment of Council Tax. Providing parking and drop off for the school by the Parish Council is totally unacceptable, unreasonable and unjustified to me. To a certain extent providing car parking for the Parishes own playing fields may well be acceptable but providing for the Leisure Centre less so. It’s weird that people who use the Leisure centre don’t walk there and it’s not reasonable for the village to provide parking people who don’t live locally to drive there. No assessment appears to have been made about how much this will cost, who will pay, how long it will take and what impact it may have on the already stretched staff resources of the Parish Council. It is incredible that these issues are being consulted upon outside a Parish Plan process.
4. I’m in support of the plans but think that buses should be re-routed around Cornforth Lane as well.
5. If adequate parking space was provided at the rear of my property I would be happy with parking restrictions being imposed at the front for the property.
6. If providing parking to residents opp school would you consider permits for those school side to prevent residents (opp) parking school side for quickness? Looks like a really good plan and refreshing to see a plan without additional houses, thank you!
7. I believe buses should be re routed from Cornforth Lane. Few people use them and the bus stop is a magnet for youths who cause problems. If the bus can’t be re routed then double deckers should not drive down the lane. They cause privacy issues as passengers stare into bedroom windows!
8. Traffic via Cornforth Lane is becoming critical and requires urgent action, before someone is seriously injured.
9. It’s a brilliant idea, I do hope that it will be possible.
10. Think this would be a brilliant idea
11. Villages and volunteers would be worried about the future of Strayaid at their present site if both fields are developed.
12. My objection would be using public funds to purchase land for parking per house and garden (which would increase house value at public purse expence) if houses pay the market value for land no objection or are you going to give every house in the parish 2 parking spaces and some garden
13. Here’s a radical suggestion. Build a new school fit for the 21st Century on the existing school field utilising the existing school whilst a new build goes ahead. Build into the scheme an entrance and exit onto the A177 with traffic light system whereby parents who insist on driving children to school can drop off and pick up in a safe environment. Staff have increased exponentially with every piecemeal addition to the school over the last  years that I have resided . Make sure there is sufficient car parking for staff and visitors, that would go a long way to solving some of the parking issues that residents face Monday to Friday during term time. It isn’t unknown for upwards of 6 vehicles whose owners are employed at the school to park outside the school because of a lack of parking space inside. The current school field is not utilised to its full potential other than on sports day, with most school functions taking place on the playground. Demolish the old school buildings and design in play area, car parking, drop off etc where the existing building stands. Building a school elsewhere will only serve for developers to move on the land vacated. Utilise some of the resources the County Council currently have such as Enforcement officers who could monitor the daily abuse of the yellow school markings. Purchasing land behind Gladstone Terrace I feel is unrealistic for a number of reasons and raises question of how the purchase would be funded. It is a big piece of land and the current owners have shown no inclination to sell in the past, being happy with the pasture land this provides for the local farmers. It is also a valued green space. To suggest building 3G pitches will only add to light pollution and noise nuisance as such facilities tend to operate 7 day per week and up until 10 pm each evening and later in some places. Whilst I am a supporter of sport such facilities should be constructed near the sporting hub, namely Active Life Centre. A 11 v 11 grass pitch should also be included in the scheme. Should off street parking be considered and home owners asked to contribute to land purchase it has to be taken into consideration that many homes on Gladstone Terrace are private rental houses. In addition  residents do have off street parking (.) The majority of  I’m sure there are other issues that I could address but am happy to discuss further. The school parking is not the major issue for me. The abuse of the no entry is, but Im happy to see that it is hopefully being addressed. Thanks
14. I live in  but am from Coxhoe, I have family and friends who live in Coxhoe and my  lives along Cornforth Lane
15. My  lives along Cornforth Lane. When I visit the traffic is a nightmare, not even on school days/drop off hours
16. Think the houses would love off street parking and that would help them a lot so there cars would be out the way of harm making their lives better and the road safer
17. Acquiring the land at active life for more fields may encourage more youths to gather there on evenings and cause more anti social behaviour as they are doing now nearly every night
18. I would support the parish council purchase of the land to build a new school so that our children can be educated in an up to date environment instead of the Victorian building ie 20ft high çlassrooms with high windows so that children cannot see outside. School governors should have been consulting with the community before wasting money and opportunities to create 21st century provision for now and the future instead of short term fixes. Both Bowburn and Cornforth have new schools, surrounding villages have nurseries and cornforth nursery has been enlarged but parents of Coxhoe have to travel. Our secondary age children are used to fill up spaces in any schools anywhere..spennymoor / ferryhill / now Wheatley hill. Time our councillors, both parish and county, fought hard for Coxhoes childrens education.
19. Open the roundabout exit at school drop off and collection times would reduce traffic as vehicles would pass down once instead of twice
20. If the Parish Council succeed in purchasing the land behind Cornforth Lane, would the residents be expected to buy their individual plots?
21. Parents dropping their children off at school will always be a problem. If they could drop them off on the carpet in the classroom they would do so. Not convinced they would use a car park around the corner. The bus only entrance is a joke, loads of people feel they are entitled to simply ignore. People in general are very self centred…
22. The Cornforth Lane traffic problem needs sorting before a child is seriously injured and why can buses not be re routed as that road is not able to handle the buses and traffic
23. Remove the bus route through Cornforth Lane , it is unnecessary in this day and age and reroute to the front street. Provide school bus layby facilities on the A177 adjacent to the school, so they do not need to drive down either.
24. Fully support. the traffic problems are increasing. This is needed to avoid a future accident.
25. I do not think this is a good idea how ever there are traffic problems because of the school .
26. I think all suggestions just add to the problem. Why don’t the County/Parish Council buy the said land next to Active life centre and build a new school that would be modern and have much needed recreational facilities for our children of Coxhoe and surrounding villages there would be sufficient car park space for all. The entry and exit could be at the mini roundabout and that would solve the problem of cars going down cornforth lane. We would have a school fit for purpose surely a School built in the early 20th century is not Good enough for our children we should demand a new purpose built School for all our children after all it is 2020. I look forward to seeing all other comments.
27. it get worse every year with the school traffic it’s a dangerous…people need to walk I went to that school so did my great grandfather and everyone of my family…makes me sad to see everyone pulling up in cars …I can.t even get parked  have to plan my day around the school !!!
28. I also feel sleeping policeman on the road would help the speed at which some people drive along there.
29. Double yellow lines in front of those houses that have parking at the rear making them use it
30. I don’t live near Cornforth Lane so wouldn’t be personally impacted but the safety of the school children has to be of paramount importance.
31. As a resident  for over  years I am really concerned about the current situation regarding the traffic using Cornforth Lane and witness near miss accidents on an almost daily basis (including Saturdays & Sundays). The twice daily school run is frightening at best and very high risk to every persons safety at worst. During the school run, vehicles exiting Cornforth Lane are queued from the traffic lights all the way back along Co-operative Terrace. I have even seen vehicles using the back lane at Co-operative Terrace as a cut-through by entering the back lane  and exiting the back lane opposite the Best One shop. I often witness altercations with tempers frayed and have played the role pf peacemaker on 2 occasions. every single day I can confirm that buses meet on the bend with only one lane open due to parked vehicles, and we witness buses reversing around the blind bend in order to resolve the problem. all vehicles behind the buses must reverse too. We even see one driver alighting from his vehicle to walk around the bend and guide his colleague whilst reversing. Other issues are, many vehicles using the opening at Welfare terrace as a turning point, by driving into the opening and then reversing out onto the main road. School children walking on the footpath are often met by moving vehicles mounting the kerb in order to pass each other. [Windows] has been clipped by the wing mirror of many a bus, as they mount the kerb to pass oncoming vehicles in the middle of the road due to parked vehicles outside of people’s homes. The problem is clear that Cornforth Lane is a two-way road and all of the parked vehicles outside of people’s own homes effectively makes Cornforth Lane a single track road. I have spoken with many neighbours and for us the solution is quite simple. Cornforth Lane from the point of Landsowne Road should be one-way. access to and from the Doctors Surgery (which should be re-located) and the Sports Centre would remain unchanged, However, once a vehicle passes the top of Landsdowne Road, it should be one-way all the way to the bottom, with the round-a-bout removed and school drop off points appropriately positioned. All of the traffic going the same direction will immediately resolve the issues. Cars can park outside of their own homes on either side of the road leaving plenty of room for one-way traffic. Buses that travel up Cornforth Lane towards the traffic lights, can observe a one-way system by adding 2 minutes to their running time. One bus stop (Victoria) can serve all passengers. This will also remove the bus stop from the top of Landsdowne Road which often makes it difficult for traffic coming up Landsdowne bank and requiring to turn left towards the traffic lights (another accident waiting to happen. I am sure that this idea which represents people who live on Cornforth Lane and know the problems better than most is a sensible, workable option which will also be much cheaper than some of the suggestions within the survey. I will be more than happy to discuss this in more detail and hope for no fatalities in the meantime. Thank you for taking the time to read this submission.
32. Better utilisation of the Active Life Centre car park during School times would allow drop off and pick up opportunities for parents and children. Also walk to scool service, parents cojkd volunteer for this.
34. It’s not that I have a problem with the council acquiring land next to active life Centre for the additional residents to use to meet demand. My issue is that there is facilities already in that area, coxhoe is a big place & could facilities not be located in other areas around the village to support those who live on the outskirts or near the new development sites.
35. The purchase of land in order to provide drop-off and parking facility for the school does not necessarily mean it will relieve the problem. I don’t think you have fully considered the convenience factor. Parents wish to be as close as possible to the school entrance. The provision of a drop-off or parking facility in the location you are considering is less convenient than the options they currently use. Your consultation makes no reference to the pressure placed on the residents in parts of the Ashbourne Drive locality. Given the proximity of the school gate to the access from [Ashbourne], there is a twice daily deluge of traffic, illegal parking on pavements and restricting access to residents drives. By not acknowledging the social impact the traffic issues have on the residential area of Ashbourne Drive you may not have considered or foresee the provision of drop-off or parking for the school will not be fully used as parents will still wish to use the closer more convenient option – Ashbourne Drive.
36. [Engagement welcomed]
37. To be used only service and school buses but not other hirw buses.
38. when you ask for support, what support would you require? Who will purchase this land? Would the land be given to the residents or rented to them?
39. As an alternative, should proposals not go ahead, could a one way system for cars/vans only be implemented on Cornforth Lane. Allowing them to exit only via the roundabout. Another consideration is perhaps staff parking for the school as well. Could the purple area marked off be used for both that as well as parent drop off.
40. The situation for people walking their children to school is horrendous. Parents driving up on to the pavement right where your child is standing on a daily basis. I do not feel safe walking my child to school at all.
41. Cornforth lane should be made into a one way street
42. I attended a meeting that said we couldn’t use the green part of the verge fir a roll I n roll out drop off spot as it would compromise the roundabout but they have allowed the right turn onto the Barratt estate which comprises it and not likely we’ll get our drop out point. The reference to ‘need’ to drive their cars – it’s about getting to work on time and not about laziness or wishing to cause problems it’s about being able to drop your child off and being able to get to work on time
43. I support the parish council buying the land to build a new primary school in a more suitable location with good access from the roundabout and space to provide for residents parking.
44. No school drop off zone at Ashbourne Drive. During winter time when we have snow Ashbourne Drive is difficult enough to get up in a car because of the speed humps hindering progress. additional school traffic makes this a hazardous experience for residents of the estate.
45. I’d fully support the idea of the Parish Council acquiring the land behind Cornforth Lane, to provide additional off-street residents’ parking off Cornforth Lane, but not for the use of school drop-offs. Any additional off-street parking provided should be on a permit holder basis only, not for the misuse of people getting buses into town, for the school and so on.
46. I think your plans are ambitious and forward-thinking. Well done. They would make such a difference to ALL of the residents of Cornforth Lane. I would prefer it if all buses were not allowed on the street, they often drive very fast along the street. However, as a compromise, I would really like it if the private coaches were stopped from coming along the road. They often use the road as a shortcut when they have no passengers and are not going to the primary school. There is absolutely no need for this and can be dangerous.
47. Plenty of streets don’t have enough parking. No way should all the village pay for parking places for a few people. Other soltutiins need to be found.
48. Maybe to temper this scheme and take the pressure off the front street, the consideration of siting the new surgery within the eg ‘red’ section with vehicle access via the roundabout (maybe additional temporary locked access onto Cornforth Lane). Would ANY new building have a pharmacy?
49. I strongly support all of the plans mentioned, except for number 6 “further parking restriction could also be considered on Cornforth Lane”, until more detail is available about this. I would likely object to any sort of time restrictions on the area outside of my home as it could affect visitors, unless it was specifically at school times.  Therefore these plans should make a huge difference to the number of cars parked on Cornforth lane/School Avenue and open up parking for school parents. Currently parents park down the road to the back of School Avenue and out the back. Number 3 (further parking for the Active Life Centre etc.) – where would this be? If it is the area in purple this would need to be made safe as it looks quite a distance from the current Active Life Car park and so would need lighting etc. It could provide an area for ASB. However this is definitely needed as if there is football on the field at the park, then members of Active Life struggle to park, and cars park dangerously and all over the grass verges.
50. This is a huge problem that should be sorted by the local authority not at the expense of the parish council
51. Putting off street parking isn’t the issue. The speed of the busses is the main issue Don’t understand why there isn’t a pulling like Quarrington Hill school near the new T junction that has just been put in. The gap needs to be closed to the public if the bus routes cant be changed and should be permit holder parking. This will stop grandparents coming 30 mins early before school pick up and not parking correctly and taking up two spaces or parking on the path.
52. This needs to be done asap before soeone is seriously or killed.
53. Camera at school end of lane to stop traffic using it for short cut
54. Has a school drop off lane ever been looked at ? On the back side of the school it would connect to the A177, it would only need to be a lay by, this would help take the stress away from the lane and could help prevent people running through the no entry.
55. It would be fantastic for the village if all this could be achieved.
56. I agree with the need for School parking but myself cannot see drivers trying to get out of Coxhoe onto the extremely busy A177 to drive down to the mini roundabout, fighting through traffic pulling off the Burdon estate who will also be dropping there children off from the new car park as none of these residents will be wanting to walk down then walk back for their cars. Are all these extra children still going to be queuing up at the gate off Parsons walk as it’s bad enough now trying to walk by with my dogs as not one of them will budge to let you through and that’s the parents. I can’t see any of it working, the only thing that will is the cameras on the no entry to stop people nipping through thinking no one can see them if they go at 60 mph!
57. I very much support the proposal for bus-only cameras. As a resident , I am horrified by the speed at which many drivers travel on this – supposedly quiet – street.
58. In order to discourage people having so many cars, paid parking bays on cornforth lane would be welcomed. Also, are there going to be any plans for some electric charging stations for houses on cornforth lane who have no garage/off street parking access? I would like to get a plug in car but  no access to charging!
59. There is some really bad driving by parents going to and from the school on both morning and night , driving fast
60.  it is a nightmare when parents bring cars to drop off & pick up children from the school. [Driveways often blocked] by inconsiderate people. I would like the bottom of the street by the school to have a traffic gate, as cars, motorbikes & quad bikes often drive through as speed
61. Although I am not personally affected by Cornforth Lane’s traffic problems I feel heartily sorry for all the residents in that street and it has put me off living down there. Why are so many housing estates given approval when small villages do not have the infrastructure to cope?!
62. Grateful to hear that the parish council are making this a priority. Fingers crossed.
63. The road bear the school is so dangerous. I hope the council can get it resolved.
64. The main problem with school parking is that lazy parents driving their kids to school when they live within walking distance. Nobody takes notice of the no entry signs and people drive far too fast