What Price Safety? Demands for Worthy Road Crossing
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Residents in the Abbotts Barton area have called in the help of their local MP and new county councillor after safety fears were raised about the Worthy Road in Winchester – and have raised fresh demands for a Worthy Road crossing.
Steve Brine brought new Hampshire Transport chief – Cllr Sean Woodward – to meet residents and their newly elected representative Cllr Fiona Mather to have a look.
They met at the junction of Abbotts Road and Park Road with Worthy Road.
Many residents, especially those doing the school-run to St Bede School, cross the road regularly in the area and say it is an accident waiting to happen.
Sally Pasche lives on Courtenay Road: “‘We are in desperate need for a safe place to cross Worthy Road as the amount of traffic along it has dramatically increased over the years, and will only get worse when the new housing is built in the local area.”
She says the current cross point at the bottom of Park Road is very dangerous: “The island is too narrow for pedestrians to stop in, especially with speeding traffic and impatient drivers overtaking stationary buses on the wrong side of the road.
“Local people, particularly children and the elderly, don’t feel confident crossing the road.”
Winchester MP Steve Brine says the issue was raised with him and Cllr Mather during the recent county council elections: “It is very clear residents are worried about crossing the Worthy Road at this point.
“I think this fits into a wider picture in this part of Winchester at the moment as concerns about volume of traffic, much of it generated by new development taking place, makes its presence felt on the roads.
“This of course is before the new Francis Gardens’ development comes online and before a work even begins on 2,000 houses at Barton Farm.”
Cllr Woodward agreed the area deserves attention from his officers and will arrange for a pedestrian study to be undertaken without delay.
If a full pedestrian crossing cannot be delivered, because footfall doesn’t meet tough rules laid down, the councillor agreed he would at a minimum explore other available options to make a safer crossing point for residents.
Cllr Mather says negotiaions need to move forward: “We will work closely with residents to get them a hearing with the county council and to ensure we put forward a powerful case for action at this site before someone gets hurt.”
Pictured: Resident Maria Halpin, Cllr Sean Woodward of HCC, Cllr Fiona Mather, Steve Brine MP and resident Sally Pasche with children on Worthy Road.