A LONG-SERVING Evesham councillor has called on highways chiefs to include a ‘desperately needed’ High Street pedestrian crossing in their traffic study of the town.
The plea was made at a full council meeting on Monday (May 16) by Coun Jo Sandalls who urged councillors to back her call for a letter to be sent to Worcestershire County Council asking them to include a safe crossing point by the St Egwins’ Club in their £100,000 traffic survey.
Calls for a crossing were made following the tragic death of a local man who died trying to cross the road by the club.
The headteachers of Prince Henry’s, St Egwins, Swan Lane and St Mary’s also back the calls for a crossing and a petition has also been launched.
At the meeting, Coun Sandalls also urged New Homes Bonus money, of which the Town Council has more than £400,000, to be spent on the crossing.
However, the sub-committee who deal with New Homes Bonus applications had previously deferred the decision on the crossing until the findings of the traffic study are published, amid concerns a crossing will slow down High Street traffic even more.
Speaking during the meeting, Coun Sandalls said: “The request for a safe crossing point was initially submitted in November 2015 to the County Council who stated there are no funds available for this project.
“Subsequently this application was submitted to the Town Council as we have adequate New Homes Bonus funds available.
“The public needs to be aware we’ve listened to them and we will explore every avenue to provide this much needed facility.
Deputy Mayor Coun Richard Jones, who sits on the New Homes Bonus Working Group, said the decision on the crossing had been deferred because they wanted to wait for the outcome of the traffic study.
“We did consider that if it was seen as a priority by the County Council, who has responsibility for the roads, they would have put in a crossing by now, especially after the sad and unfortunate death that occurred there,” Coun Jones said.
“We’re not throwing it out.
“If you put a crossing in there, just before the report comes out, and it then stops the flow of traffic even more because you’re right up against traffic lights then what is the point in spending all that money on the report.
“Let’s see what the report has to say.”
In response, Coun Colin Tether hit back at claims a crossing would slow down traffic.
“It is surprising that there is no crossing there at all, one is desperately needed,” Coun Tether said.
“Some people say that it will slow down traffic- I deny this.
“During most of the working day, the crossing will create no additional delay at all as the traffic will just pause for the crossing then rejoin the queue ahead.
“This crossing is important to the town and we need it now,” he added.