The landlord of the Fox & Flowerpot on Bampton Way is afraid someone will lose their life if nothing is done about a crossing near his pub.
In fact after witnessing yet another near miss recently, Ian Cox and his wife Irene were so concerned, Ian wrote to Woking MP Jonathan Lord expressing the urgent need to address the hazard.
He wrote: “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 that the crossing point, outside Herbies Pizza, is used by a disproportionate number of people with mobility difficulties who live in sheltered housing nearby.
He said: “Anyone in a mobility scooter, wheelchair, parents pushing prams or elderly people coming from the bus stop and crossing the central reservation to get to Goldsworth Park Centre – for the doctor’s, dentist’s, Waitrose or my pub – are at risk.
“It is a serious safety hazard with the possibility of loss of life to anyone involved in a collision. The crossing is in a poor state of repair with blown lamps and inadequate lighting, especially during non-daylight saving hours like now.
“It can be extremely difficult for motorists to see pedestrians, especially those in wheelchairs.
“Most electric wheelchairs do not have lights and many do not have side reflectors, rendering them almost invisible in the hours of darkness.”
Ian thinks the access route should be upgraded to a zebra or pelican crossing, adding: “I felt I had to do something after the latest near miss. Thankfully the motorist was driving at a speed that meant he was able to react and prevent an accident – a younger or less diligent driver may not have stopped in time.”
Mr Lord drew Ian’s concerns to the attention of the council. County Councillor Colin Kemp visited the site on Monday evening last week and agreed the situation needed addressing, beginning with the lighting.
On Monday this week, Ian received the following response from Highways engineer Kevin Patching. In part it read: “I have reported your concerns to our lighting contractor and will ask maintenance to ensure there are no defects with the kerbs, tactile paving slabs and footways.
“With regard to safety at the crossing point, having checked the personal injury collision history for the last three years – the standard time period con-sidered – there have been no collisions. Extending to five years still yields no collisions.
“So, in terms of statistics, the crossing is safe, and introducing a zebra or a traffic signal controlled crossing would not make it safer. Near misses occur at these crossings just as they do at uncontrolled crossings.
“I have added an item for the island to be replaced with a zeb-ra or puffin crossing and have ranked it in the same way as other items.
“However, the fact there is already a pedestrian crossing facility [the ‘refuge’ in the middle], it is ranked 26th out of 63 schemes and it could be several years before we can address this issue.
Ian said he is now considering setting up a petition.