Furious town councillors slam proposals to slash the speed limit and install toucan crossing on A46 - The Evesham Observer

Furious town councillors slam proposals to slash the speed limit and install toucan crossing on A46

Evesham Editorial 16th Nov, 2017 Updated: 16th Nov, 2017   0

FURIOUS town council chiefs have slammed proposals to install a toucan crossing and to slash the speed limit on a stretch of the A46 as the ‘final nail in the coffin’ for the notoriously congested bypass.

Councillors on Evesham Town Council have reacted angrily to the proposals put forward by Highways England as part of their ‘improvement’ plan for Evesham’s bypass.

Branded as ‘stupid’ by a number of councillors, the scheme includes plans to install a signal controlled Toucan crossing for pedestrians and cyclists at the Vale Park roundabout.

The speed limit on the A46 would then be slashed from 60mph to 40mph in both directions as drivers approach the proposed crossing point.

A second phase of the improvement scheme has also been developed by Highways England. With the expansion of Vale Park, a second Toucan crossing would be installed at the Cheltenham Road roundabout along with a similar 40mph speed limit.

The stretch of the A46 between the Cheltenham Road and Vale Park roundabouts would then be cut to 50mph to stop drivers from excessively speeding up between the two roundabouts when leaving the 40mph speed limits.

Highways England already has funding in place for the first phase of the project and it will be added to the agency’s construction programme for 2017/18.

But, in responding to the consultation on the proposals, at Monday night’s full council meeting furious councillors hit out at the plans and claimed Evesham’s chronic congestion problems will only get worse.

“This is the final nail in the coffin for the bypass,” Coun Jim Bulman said.

“This will just create chaos. The object in my view is to have a bypass which takes traffic around the town which can go quickly and smoothly. This is just going to go up the works just like the centre of town.”

Coun Mark Goodge added that although a safe crossing point is needed, the council should continue 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.

“But I seem to recall years ago there were proposals for a bridge there which was supposed to be paid for from developer’s contributions. How that has got watered down to a crossing is beyond me.

“The 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.

“As much as we need a crossing, the crossing needs to be grade separated, it needs to be a bridge. I think we should make that very clear and we should carry on pressing for what was originally agreed when the Vale Park extension was approved.”

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