Councillor’s concerns over new crossing after man injured in crash
A district councillor has expressed his concerns over a new crossing that appears to be going ahead nearby to where a man was recently hit by a ‘truck’. Cllr Anthony Brand, who represents the Sleaford Westholme ward on North Kesteven District Council, has said that the corner of East Gate by the marketplace is a ‘blind corner’ and not the best spot for a pedestrian crossing. On Wednesday, June 8, a man in his 50s was involved in a collision by Barclays Bank.
Business owners based around the marketplace said that the corner, where South Gate merges into East Gate, could be ‘dangerous’ but believed the incident had been a ‘one-off’. Currently, the only set of traffic lights on East Gate is by the turning onto Carre Street. A refurbished crossing appears to be in the process of being installed by the bank, though temporary barriers are in place.
This would be the second crossing pedestrians could use on East Gate. (Image: Lincolnshire Live)
Cllr Brand said he feared that a driver approaching from South Gate would be “blind” to anyone “daring to step out”. “It doesn’t appear to be a formal crossing in terms of traffic lights, so you’ll be at the mercy of cars swinging around,” he said. “I’m worried about pedestrians, but I’m worried about the poor drivers, too. I don’t know how they’re supposed to see someone cross.”
He also pointed out that the railings where the crossing now appears to be going ahead have been hit by drivers in the past. “They aren’t there for aesthetic purposes – they are there to protect pedestrians,” he said. Cllr Mark Allan, who represents the market town on the county council, said the crossing would be safer than the current alternative. “There is a need for many people to cross there at the moment,” he told Lincolnshire Live. “As it stands at the moment, people tend to try and cross at the widest point, coming out between the parked loading vehicles and then trying to get across two lanes of traffic.
I’ve been to have a look and I think people can be seen at the speed cars are generally driving, and drivers in a town centre do know that they need to take care.” Subject to seeing a safety assessment that the councillor said would have been prepared by the highways team ahead of the works beginning, Cllr Allan said it will “probably work” if given a chance. “There will have been a safety assessment with it to suggest it is the best place for an uncontrolled crossing point,” he said. He added that cars going around that corner would be going slower than they are when travelling down East Gate approaching the traffic lights.
The Sleaford representative has also asked council officers to develop proposals for a 20mph speed limit on town centre roads, including East Gate.
“If you look at the statistics, the result of an accident between a car and a pedestrian is quite severe at 30mph,” he said. “But the evidence and research indicate that accidents cars driving at 20mph and a pedestrian tend to result in less severe injuries.
“It is also far easier to slow down.”