Road safety fears for disabled and elderly over crossing proposal in Nailsea

PUBLISHED: 08:46 11 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:46 11 December 2018

The crossing is due to be downgraded to a zebra crossing.

The crossing is due to be downgraded to a zebra crossing.

Archant

A proposal to replace a pelican crossing with a zebra crossing has sparked safety fears in Nailsea.

North Somerset Council wants to downgrade the crossing on Stock Way South, but town leaders fear it will post a safety risk to the elderly, disabled and visually impaired.

John Hunter, chairman of Nailsea Community Speedwatch said: “For visually impaired people, a crossing with audio signals which indicates it’s safe to cross, or traffic lights which stop traffic, is the safest way to cross.

“If they put in a zebra crossing, there will be no audible sign so you cannot be sure the traffic has stopped.

“It also affects people using wheelchairs as well as older people who take more time to cross.”

The crossing is being downgraded because it does not come near the required score for a signalised crossing.

However, McCarthy and Stone is building retirement apartments on the site of the old police station in Stock Way South which will comprise of 42 apartments for people over the age of 60.

More: Work underway on retirement flats.

Mr Hunter added: “The new building by McCarthy and Stone is just yards away and there are going to be elderly people wanting to cross safely there.

“I don’t think anyone has as much confidence in a zebra crossing.

“Why increase the risks for people? The council is not considering the needs of disabled people.”

Councillors are concerned a zebra crossing would pose a hazard to people who move into the new apartments.

Nailsea Town Council clerk Ian Morrell said: “The town council was made aware of North Somerset Council’s plan to replace the pelican crossing with a zebra. The town council’s view is that any decision should be deferred until the impact of the McCarthy and Stone development can be assessed.

“We have been told that irrespective of the town council’s comments, North Somerset Council will be replacing the current crossing with a zebra.

“While it is accepted there is a zebra crossing outside the school, and to the best of our knowledge this works safely, there are concerns vehicles turning left from Mizzymead Road on to Stockway South in particular might present a hazard to older people using the new zebra crossing.”

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