Accident that was waiting to happen

AN ELDERLY woman was rushed to hospital last week after a motorised wheelchair collided with her on the central reservation of a hazardous crossing in Goldsworth Park.

The crash caused her to fall on to the busy road in the face of oncoming traffic. It was only a matter of time before another accident took place at the uncontrolled crossing in Bampton Way near the Fox & Flowerpot pub.

AT RISK – residents and local business owners have already aired their concerns over the crossing risk in Goldsworth Park’s Bampton Way

AT RISK – residents and local business owners have already aired their concerns over the crossing risk in Goldsworth Park’s Bampton Way

In December the News & Mail reported that the pub manager, Ian Cox, and his wife Eileen had witnessed another ‘near miss’. They said they feared that unless the crossing is upgraded, it could lead to a fatality.

Ian wrote to local MP Jonathan Lord expressing the urgent need to address the hazard. He said: “I feel it would be irresponsible of me to ignore this – all I ask is for your support and influence to effect the changes required.”

Ian told the News & Mail: “There had been a lot of talk from Surrey Highways but, apart from the beacon light being fixed, it has not moved on. They said that because there was no history of a fatality at the crossing, it was not a priority and was just added to their list.

“But there is lack of room on the central reservation and people get stuck there because the cars on the busy road have the right of way. “We need a proper, safer zebra or pelican-type crossing with light controls where the pedestrians can cross safely.”

The busy thoroughfare outside Herbies Pizza is used by many children, parents with prams, and elderly and disabled people trying to get to Goldsworth Park Centre’s shops, including Waitrose supermarket, doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries, St Andrew’s Church, the Generation Community Centre, the pub, bus stops adjacent to the crossing, and the popular park itself.

It is also used by a disproportionate number of people who have mobility difficulties and live in nearby sheltered housing.

Ian has now alerted councillors to the latest accident. Fortunately, the vehicles that were passing managed to stop in time and the victim was taken by ambulance to hospital with injuries believed not to be serious.

Ian said: “I have highlighted the danger of the situation to our local elected representatives and it is up to them to do something about the crossing.”

In Councillors Colin Kemp and Hilary Addison’s absence, Cllr Saj Hussain has stepped in. He said: “I am going to take the initiative and we are going to make this a priority for the
reasons Ian has highlighted. I have spoken to him and will arrange a meeting with other residents to sort a campaign to make the crossing safer.”

Mr Lord added: “There are reports I have received from local people and it appears that this crossing is not quite as safe as it should be. I look forward to supporting councillors and residents as they work to resolve this matter.”

IF ANYONE has witnessed an accident or a near miss or has any problem with this crossing, they should email parklife@wordsmart.org.uk or the News & Mail at the address on Page 2.

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