Warning on nightmare crossing
PUBLISHED: 10:29 30 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:17 06 May 2010
A mayor is urging the county council to upgrade a pedestrian crossing before someone is killed. What are they waiting for – a body count to start? said Shefford mayor Paul Mackin. He has appealed to the county council to turn the crossing in Bedford Roa
A mayor is urging the county council to upgrade a pedestrian crossing before someone is killed.
"What are they waiting for - a body count to start?" said Shefford mayor Paul Mackin.
He has appealed to the county council to turn the crossing in Bedford Road on the outskirts of the town into a pelican crossing with pedestrian controlled lights to stop traffic.
Recently there have been a number of incidents at the crossing which is opposite the Baptist church and used by many young children going to a nearby School.
One of the most serious was when a father, Brian Smith, had to snatch his son, Stewart, 12, to safety when two cars collided pushing one of them across the crossing.
The following day his wife Beverley had a near miss with their other son Lewis, eight.
Now the couple who live in Great Hill in the town and the minister of the church, Steve Summerfield, are backing Cllr Mackin's appeal for a safer crossing to prevent a tragedy.
"Drivers are ignoring the 30mph speed limit when they come along the road and 0 are suddenly faced by the crossing," said Cllr Mackin.
"The county council is constantly saying there is no budget to change the crossing. What I am saying to them is: Are they waiting for a body count to start?
"A lot of children use this crossing and sometimes it is a nightmare to cross. When motorists are approaching the crossing there is a bend and they can only see half of the crossing.
"A proper pelican crossing with lights would alert motorists much quicker to the danger they face."
Talking about his ordeal with his son, Mr Smith said: "I was standing at the kerbside and this car slid to a halt. I went to step on to the crossing when another car slammed into the rear of this car and pushed it across the crossing.
"I managed to get my arm around Stewart and pull him clear but had we started to walk across we would have both been knocked down.
"Near misses happen all the time and I agree with the mayor that there is a tragedy waiting to happen."
Mrs Smith, who works at the school, said: "I was taking Lewis and had to drag him off the crossing because a car did not stop. Something has got to be done for everyone's safety."
Mr Summerfield said he hears the brakes of cars and lorries outside his home stopping suddenly at the crossing and as they enter the nearby roundabout.
"Drivers should only be doing 30mph but they are going faster which is part of the problem," he added.
"Drivers are driving with lack of care and attention. A pelican crossing is a great idea to improve safety."
Bedfordshire County Council cabinet member for transport Cllr Tom Wotton said: "I have asked my highways engineers to visit the site on Bedford Road in Shefford, assess the problems and see what can be done.
"Once they have completed this work, we will keep the mayor of Shefford and the town council informed of our findings.
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