Crossing plan for A46 set to defy objectors - The Evesham Observer

Crossing plan for A46 set to defy objectors

Evesham Editorial 18th May, 2018 Updated: 18th May, 2018   0

HIGHWAYS chiefs have pressed ahead with plans for a pedestrian crossing at a busy junction on the A46 despite opposition from furious Evesham town councillors, the Observer can reveal.

Highways England claim the crossing, costing around £350,000, is needed at the Millennium Way junction for safety reasons, despite their own report revealing just three incidents between 2010 and 2014 and only one involving a pedestrian.

The junction offers access to Vale Park and Davies Road, leading to the Four Pools Retail Park and is a regular traffic blackspot on the A46 for long suffering Vale motorists.

But despite the congestion, highways bosses have installed the traffic signal controlled junction across the A46 close to the current crossing point.

Warning signs will also be placed ahead of the new crossing.

Furious members of Evesham Town Council voiced their initial opposition to the idea at a meeting in November with Coun Jim Bulman labelling the move ‘the final nail in the coffin for the bypass’.

New Mayor of Evesham, Coun Mark Goodge agreed a safe crossing point was needed, but urged council bosses to press Highways England for a bridge to be built instead.

“Having walked across that crossing a lot of times in the past some sort of crossing is certainly needed,” he said.

“These proposals will just serve to slow up traffic even more which will only make people more inclined to go through the town centre rather than round the bypass.

Following November’s meeting, Highways England met Evesham Town Council representatives but said a bridge would cost between £1.5million and £3million and there was not sufficient space on one side of the road for it to be built.

A report to members of the Town Council’s planning and estates committee read: “They highlighted the safety need for a crossing and set out their intention to proceed with installation,” a report to councillors read.

“They did say if the Town Council were fervently opposed to any crossing then they would not install one. They have since pulled back from that stance and now plan to proceed with the installation.”

In their report, prepared by construction group Kier, Highways England highlighted the three collisions behind their decision.

“The first collision involved a motorbike losing control as it exited the roundabout travelling west. Cause was attributed to driver error and loss of control,” the report read.

“The second collision was a shunt on the westbound approach to the roundabout where the driver failed to look properly and collided with a stationary vehicle waiting at the junction.

“The third collision involved a pedestrian travelling north crossing the A46 who was hidden by a stationary vehicle and failed to look properly.”

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