Saturday, 21 October 2017

Families given new hope over crossing

PARENTS campaigning for a pedestrian crossing on a busy Henley road have been given new hope.

PARENTS campaigning for a pedestrian crossing on a busy Henley road have been given new hope.

Staff and parents from Sacred Heart School, who have been calling for a crossing on Greys Road for six years, were told by Oxfordshire County Council in August that the road’s accident record did not justify a crossing.

But the school has responded by saying a crossing should be placed on a straighter section of the road rather than on the bend by the scout hut and has been backed by Henley Town Council.

Louise Dodd, the school’s travel representative, told a meeting of the council’s traffic advisory committee that the new site was supported by Henley Mayor Stefan Gawrysiak, the parents and nearby businesses.

She said: “We have agreed where the preferred site for the crossing should be, which is by the convenience store and bus stop. Speed checks have shown that speeds are around the 30mph limit so only a zebra crossing rather than pelican crossing is needed.

“Oxfordshire County Council says crossings are only implemented where there has been a fatality. I looked at the criteria myself and there was no mention of that.

“As for the issue of funding, we have a pot of £38,000. I know this is not all for highways improvement but there should be some for a crossing on Greys Road.

“Also, as a proposed crossing on Swiss Farm is not now going ahead, it seems reasonable for that money to go to a school crossing instead. The school can also make a donation if it is able to. This issue has been debated on and off at committee meetings for years, it’s time we see some action on it.”

There were also messages of support from residents of The Close and the Gainsborough Residents’ Association.

Town and county councillor David Nimmo Smith said: “The town council expressed a preference for the location of a zebra crossing between the bus stop and community store. I will talk it through with various highways officers because they need to be satisfied that they can support a new crossing and that that’s the right place to put it.

“When we had a traffic speed survey, from the professionals’ point of view it didn’t warrant a crossing. It will come down to finance, with the cost of a crossing around £20,000 to £25,000. The school has mentioned making a contribution if it helps their position, which we welcome.”

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