Crossing is successful end to long battle - The Evesham Observer

Crossing is successful end to long battle

Rob George 28th Aug, 2019 Updated: 29th Aug, 2019   0

A LONG-RUNNING bid for a new pedestrian crossing on Davies Road has come to an end after county highways chiefs took the wraps off the vital lifeline for town pedestrians.

Highways chiefs finally funded the scheme for a puffin crossing after more than a decade of calls for frustrated town residents who faced a daily challenge of crossing the road, many with young children.

One of the first bids to gain funding for the scheme began in the late 1990s when a group of parents whose toddlers attended Alphabet House got together to urge Worcestershire County Council to put in a crossing.

No cash was made available at the time and calls were revived in 2014 when concerned town mum Emma Harris said parents regularly had to wait more than five minutes to make their way across the busy route in and out of Evesham.

Mrs Harris spoke out after finding herself late in taking her eldest son to St Richard’s CE First School on one day after waiting a staggering 10 minutes to cross safely.

Her calls were echoed by transport bosses at R Sinclair Transport in 2015 who claimed hauliers were ‘taking their lives in their hands’ when pulling out of their former base on Davies Road because of speeding motorists.

A random check carried out by the police on Davies Road during the summer of that year caught 15 drivers in just 45 minutes breaking the 30mph speed limit.

County highways bosses have now introduced a puffin crossing which uses the latest technology to recognise when someone is taking their time crossing the road or has changed their mind and walked off.

As a result, motorists will only be stopped at the lights while the crossing is being used by pedestrians. Cash secured from the developers of the new retail park off St Richard’s Road funded the crossing to help residents cross safely from the housing estate to the retail park.

Coun John Smith was on hand to open the new crossing after spending more than a decade bidding to secure funding for it.

“I am really pleased we have finally managed to get this crossing in place,” he said.

“It will be very beneficial to local people trying to get across the busy road. I am also really pleased it has been done in time for the start of the new term when it is even busier with school children getting across to The De Montfort School.”

The scheme was also backed by district councillors Coun Frances Smith, who serves as chairman of Wychavon District Council, and Coun Andrew Dyke.

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