Pedestrian crossings introduced on major Letchworth road after years of ‘dangerous near-misses’
PUBLISHED: 13:02 19 February 2020
Two pedestrian crossings on Letchworth’s Pixmore Avenue have been commissioned following a two-year battle to make the road safer for pedestrians.
The first crossing, by Ridge Road and Protea Way, was installed last week and will be followed by a second, near the Broughton Hill junction - though this has been held up after the discovery of gas and water works.
The new crossings come after years of recognition that Pixmore Avenue has been unsafe for pedestrians, in particular since the completion of the Phoenix Park residential development - which has transformed the road into a major crossing route.
A petition, originally brought to Herts County Council in 2017, warned that the road posed a "major risk" to pedestrians, and said it was "just luck" that there had not been a serious accident.
Nicola Balch, who tabled the petition, said: "It appears that nothing was or has been done to ensure there are safe crossing points. This is a dangerous road, not only with the volume and flow of traffic, but the number of speeding vehicles and lorries that pass through it."
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Pixmore Avenue is a popular route for commercial vehicles which use it as a cut-through to and from the industrial estate - despite acknowledgement that the road "does not cater" for larger traffic.
Nicola said there have also been "near-misses," where a car slows down to let a pedestrian cross, but the vehicle behind will not see, and therefore will try to overtake - leaving pedestrians stranded in the middle of the road.
Michael Muir, county councillor for Letchworth East, welcomed the new crossings, and confirmed the funding had been sourced from his annual Highway Locality Budget.
Councillor Muir, who says he has been aware of the issue for a number of years, added that recent attempts to install the crossings had come unstuck after complaints regarding proposed double-yellow lines - a secondary measure to safeguard the road.
Yellow lines along the turnings into Wissen Drive and Ridge Road have been introduced in a bid to deter cars from parking right up to the end of the junctions - thus obscuring the view of crossing pedestrians, and drivers turning back onto Pixmore Avenue.
Councillor Muir said that he hopes the second pedestrian crossing by Broughton Hill will be completed by the end of April.