'It is an accident waiting to happen' - Urgent call for safer crossing near busy retail park
PUBLISHED: 08:39 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:49 14 February 2020
A councillor who is pushing for a new pedestrian crossing near a retail park has accused the county council of ignoring road safety issues on the outskirts of Norwich.
Costessey Town Council member Gary Blundell and Costessey county councillor Tim East urgently want a signalised crossing at William Frost Way, from the Next Home store to Sainsbury's supermarket.
Presently there is only a dropped curb but both councillors say the 30mph road is dangerous for pedestrians and want an improved crossing.
Norfolk County Council says improvements are in the works, and will move forward when a development is built.
But Mr Blundell said: "It is an accident waiting to happen. I have seen so many near misses. The crossing needs to be done as an urgent matter. Norfolk County Council has to look at the outskirts of Norwich and not just the middle. Millions of pounds have been spent on cycle lanes in Norwich but the outskirts need money too."
He added: "You have to stand at the dropped curb and wait for a gap in the traffic. If I see a mum with a baby I stop to help them cross. It is extremely dangerous."
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The councillor said fewer First bus passengers on the 24 and 24A routes got off at the Next Home store because of problems crossing the road.
"You are going to lose customers on the bus and more people will use their cars," he added.
Money for an enhanced crossing was meant to come from a Section 106 agreement - where developers contribute funds to the local infrastructure - from a TK Maxx store.
Plans for the store, which would have been built behind the Next Home store, were submitted to South Norfolk Council in 2018 but have since been withdrawn because they could not fulfil highway safety requirements, including a crossing, according to Mr East.
The money will instead be made available through a Section 106 from the 890 homes in Easton, which are yet to be built.
Mr East said: "Norfolk County Council should do something about it but they have not got the money and rely on Section 106 agreements."
Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: "Improvements for pedestrians are planned as part of development proposals coming forward at Easton. These improvements will investigate a pedestrian crossing across William Frost Way as well as pedestrian crossing improvements across both the slip roads and the bridge over the A47."