Monday, 16 July 2018

Fears over faded zebra crossing

CAMPAIGNERS have called for a zebra crossing in Henley to be repainted because they say it is dangerous.

CAMPAIGNERS have called for a zebra crossing in Henley to be repainted because they say it is dangerous.

The crossing on the entrance road to Tesco, off Reading Road, is regularly used by youngsters from AFC Henley and Henley Hockey Club to access Jubilee Park and the adjacent playing fields.

But the white markings have faded, meaning that drivers may not notice it is a pedestrian crossing and children could be at risk.

Officials from both clubs say they have made repeated requests to Tesco, which owns the land, to repaint the crossing but nothing has been done.

They even threatened to carry out the work themselves.

Dieter Hinke, chairman of AFC Henley, said there had been a number of near-misses on the crossing.

?It hasn?t been renovated for years,? he said. ?I genuinely believe someone will be injured or worse if they don?t take action now.

?Vehicles come at speed off the Tesco roundabout approaching the crossing. Even if they see it at the last minute they have to really jam their brakes on or, in some cases, swerve because they can?t slow down quickly enough.?

Mr Hinke, who is a town councillor, said the issue had been raised at a meeting of the Jubilee Park users group and the town council, which owns that land.

He said: ?Letters have been written from the town council to the Tesco area office and about a year ago a meeting was held on site between a representative of Tesco, myself and Chris Baker, president of the hockey club.

?Copious notes were taken. The engineer agreed it was a serious issue and needed to be rectified immediately.

?How would we feel if something did happen? There are hundreds of children each week using that crossing for hockey and football.? Mr Baker called the crossing ?an accident waiting to happen? and that a few months ago he had to pull an elderly woman on the crossing out of the path of a car.

He said: ?While we?re worried about young people, it also affects older people.

I will not cross the road unless the cars have literally stopped.

?We have been trying to get it done for an awfully long time. It?s a small thing but you would think Tesco would maintain it and do it on a regular basis.?

When the Henley Standard contacted Tesco, the store promised action.

A spokesman said: ?We?re pleased to have been working with the council and will be repainting the crossing shortly.?

Mr Hinke said: ?We?re very pleased to have had a response from Tesco, particularly as they seem to be appointing a contractor.

?It?s a shame that it was necessary to take this action to get a response, however. In the past we have had responses from them without any action being taken so we would like a date from Tesco as to when this will be completed as soon as possible.?

Mr Baker said: ?If they do it, it will be fantastic. I?m just concerned that one day somebody will get knocked over so the sooner we do it the better.?

* In April 2013, Tesco fixed a long-standing flooding problem at the same spot.

Underground pipes were replaced and a barrier was installed to stop mud and leaves being washed into the drains. A large puddle used to appear every time there was heavy rain, so drivers going through the water splashed people waiting to use the crossing.

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