Friday, 04 December 2020

Crossing goes six weeks without repairs

A CRUMBLING pedestrian crossing in Benson branded “dangerous” by villagers has still not been repaired six weeks after it was

A CRUMBLING pedestrian crossing in Benson branded “dangerous” by villagers has still not been repaired six weeks after it was first reported.

Residents highlighed the problem at the crossing on the A4074 near Benson Marina on the Fix My Street website on July 2.

But Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, has still not carried out any repairs.

The area has been fenced off but a former parish councillor says he is concerned about parents with young children having to walk on the road to negotiate the fencing.

Dave Rushton, who originally reported the problem, said: “Users have to proceed down the road to get round the fencing.

“In fencing off the crumbling Tarmac, which is a trip hazard, they are putting people at risk. I think it’s extremely dangerous.”

Mr Rushton, who used to be vice-chairman of Benson Parish Council, said: “In my time involved with roads I think this probably one of the most dangerous things I have seen.

“The kids use it to get down to the Rivermead leisure area, to the café and to the Thames Path. The residents of Preston Crowmarsh use it to get into the village.

“Come September the mums will push their kids to school through this.”

Mr Rushton, who lives in Littleworth Road with his wife Susan, said he met county council officers in May 2013 to discuss the problem. He said the crossing was continually being broken up by buses pulling into a poorly designed stop.

The drop in the Tarmac now made it impossible for people on mobility scooters or with pushchairs to use the crossing.

He added: “I can’t believe they can’t do a cheap fix just to make the crossing a bit safer without fencing it off.”

The county council says that problems with pavements are generally responded to within 10 working days.

On July 21 and again on July 23 the authority claimed on Fix My Street that the problem had been fixed.

Parish councillor Rob Workman responded, saying: “This issue with the pavement has not been fixed and is now a serious danger to pedestrians using this crossing.

“I will report this to the Health and Safety Executive as the county council is not fulfilling its duty of care to the public here.”

Mr Rushton said the A4074 carried about 1,900 vehicles per hour at peak times.

He added: “I believe this situation is outrageous, a travesty of handling a safety issue  and it makes one wonder what any of the responsible people would say if there were to be a serious incident. 

“To remove some broken up Tarmac is not rocket science and could not possibly be that expensive. 

“This is a basic county council responsibility and they are ducking it and putting people’s lives at risk. 

“The speed limit on the road was reduced from 50mph to 40mph but requests for a 30mph were rejected.”

The parish council has been seeking a solution for more than three years. 

In 2013 it suggested a temporary solution of bollards to make the buses stay on the highway but this was rejected and instead fresh Tarmac was laid.

Oxfordshire county council didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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