Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Call to review Bedale 'death trap junction' plan
11:25am Friday 18th January 2013 in News
FURIOUS councillors have called on engineers to look again at a “death trap” junction after they recommended minor alterations instead of installing a pedestrian crossing.
Bedale Town Council was told the junction at Firby Lane, Sussex Street in Bedale is used by all the most vulnerable people in the town from parents with young children and push chairs to elderly residents and there was no safe place to cross.
Local resident Brian Hall, who has campaigned for more than ten years for a crossing, warned: "This junction is going to get busier and busier and the people who use it are pensioners and young children, something desperately needs to be done.
"It is the established crossing place for people, older people especially and if that isn’t a death trap I don’t know what is.”
The meeting heard a new investigation had been carried out into work at the site following the death of an 85-year-old man on a mobility scooter at the junction last September.
North Yorkshire County Council engineers said it would not be feasible to put in a crossing because of narrow footpaths and the risk of traffic queues and recommended dropped kerbs and more signs instead.
Councillors said dropped kerbs would aggravate the situation.
Councillor Janet Gleeson said: "I’m astonished at this report, have they not listened to anything?
"We need a proper crossing, we might as well be saying dice with death to some of these elderly people.”
Other members suggested the county council should be looking at a 20mph limit on Firby Road or speed matrix signs to slow traffic down.
Coun Carol Clarke called for an investigation into road safety throughout the town because there were so many problem areas.
“Are we going to wait until more people are killed, it is incredibly difficult crossing some of these roads,” she added.
County councillor John Weighell said: ”Traffic lights are probably the best answer, but they will cause a huge amount of standing traffic backing up.
"That is the safe solution and that was talked about in the Bedale traffic management plan five years ago.”
Members agreed to write to Highways calling for a crossing to be installed.