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Agenda item

Petition - Zebra Crossing on Victoria Street, Kilnhurst

 

To consider a petition referred by Council seeking the change of the zebra crossing on Victoria Street, Kilnhurst to a pelican crossing.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a petition, signed by 1,379 people, which called on the Council to change a zebra crossing on Victoria Street, Kilnhurst, to a pelican crossing.

 

Representations supporting the petition were made by Mr. Steve Straw who provided a brief history of the issues faced by pedestrians at the location over a number of years since the zebra crossing was installed over thirty five years ago. He explained that Victoria Street was a principal route connecting to Doncaster, the A1 and M18 motorways and, as such, there was a heavy level of traffic using the road which had led to a number of accidents over the years. Reference was made to the presence of a primary school, nursery and other amenities near to the location of the zebra crossing and that there was a lack of confidence amongst the local community that drivers would stop at the zebra crossing if a child attempted to cross the road.

 

In summary, the petition had been gathered by approaching the local community for their signature and support, rather than making use of social media or e-petitioning. Mr. Straw felt that Members should have regard to this strength of feeling in considering the petition and actively support the installation of a pelican crossing to replace the extant zebra crossing.

 

In a question to the lead petitioner, Members sought to establish if a crossing patrol warden was in place at the zebra crossing at the beginning and end of the school day and the number of accidents at the location. In response, Mr. Straw confirmed that there was no longer a patrol warden and he understood there to have been three accidents at the location in the past couple of years. Following on from Mr. Straw’s remarks, Councillors Cusworth and Wyatt provided some further clarification in respect of the crossing patrol warden position and the efforts of ward councillors to contribute devolved budgets to the funding of an ongoing patrol presence.

 

The Chair read a letter of support for the petition from Councillor Sansome, a ward councillor in the neighbouring Swinton ward, who was unable to attend the meeting.

 

Matthew Reynolds, Transportation Manager, responded to the points raised by the lead petitioner and explained that road safety was an important issue and that officers wished to work with the petitioners and the local community to examine what could be done to address the issues raised. He indicated that tube surveys were already in place at the location to establish data in respect of the volume of traffic, as any decisions to spend money to make changes had to be supported by a strong evidence base. Furthermore, reference was made to regulations from the Department for Transport, supported by Council policy, which were rigorous in assessing the appropriateness of siting zebra or pelican crossings. Other considerations were environmental factors, proximity to junctions, movements associated with nearby bus laybys and widths of footpaths, but the most relevant determinant would be the speed of vehicles approaching the location and the speed survey would be most critical piece of evidence in deciding what action to take. It was confirmed there were no recorded accidents at the location in the past five years, however there had been accidents on Victoria Street that were not related to the zebra crossing and there was no statistical significance arising from national statistics to suggest that a pelican crossing would be safer for pedestrians than a zebra crossing.

 

The Lead Petitioner asked how school children would be able to cross the road safely if no pelican crossing could be installed and without a crossing patrol warden. In response, officers confirmed that a number of initiatives had been introduced including a humped crossing, upgraded Belisha beacons and wider environmental initiatives. Reference was also made to driver awareness with better usage of signage and parking restrictions to improve visibility on the approach to the crossing. It was confirmed that all of the aforementioned issues would be considered again in response to the petition.

 

Members queried whether any analysis had taken place in respect of the feasibility of converting to a pelican crossing at the location in view of the traffic lights on the humpbacked bridge further up Victoria Street. In response, it was explained that there were stringent guidelines in respect of the installation of pelican crossings, although it was anticipated that this proposal would fit within those guidelines, but further investigation would confirm that.

 

Reference was made to driver behaviour and it was considered that this might be a significant issue with drivers speeding to get through the green light at the traffic lights on the humpbacked bridge on Victoria Street. Furthermore, clarity was provided from Members that data would only be available from recordable accidents, rather than the anecdotal information concerning accidents which local residents would be more familiar with. In response, officers confirmed that decision making would be based on statistics, evidence and data.

 

Members queried the extent to which the Public Health function worked with the Transportation service to improve road safety. In response it was confirmed that the two services did work together, but it was principally to support walking and cycling initiatives. In view of the suggestion made by Members, officers agreed to investigate further the feasibility of using these funds to improve road safety.

 

The Chair invited the Lead Petitioner to submit further questions to officers in respect of the period of time that data would be collected. It was anticipated that the data would be collated and available for analysis by April 2019.

 

After a period of deliberation, having considered the representations made by the lead petitioner and information supplied by officers, Members recognised the concerns of the people of Kilnhurst regarding road safety on the zebra crossing on Victoria Street. To this end, Members recommended that officers fully investigate the request within the petition and report back to the Improving Places Select Commission at the earliest opportunity.

 

Resolved:-

 

1.    That the petition be supported.

 

2.    That the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment investigate fully the feasibility of installing a pelican crossing at the location on Victoria Street, Kilnhurst, in line with the request made within the petition.

 

3.    That the outcome of the investigation be reported back to the Improving Places Select Commission at the earliest opportunity.

 

Supporting documents: