New zebra crossing being built in wrong place, say neighbours
PUBLISHED: 11:49 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:49 14 July 2020
Families living where a new zebra crossing is being installed have accused council bosses of ignoring warnings it will lead to extra noise and pollution.
And householders in Drayton Road cannot understand why their suggestion the crossing be a few paces further along the Norwich street - where it would not have been outside homes - was rejected.
Work is currently under way to install the raised crossing to the west of Stone Road, at a cost of at least £31,000, although council officers say the final bill is likely to be higher.
But householders say it would have made more sense to put it the opposite side of the Stone Road junction - next to a grassed area.
They had stopped an initial proposal for a crossing further along Drayton Road, amid concerns parking outside homes would be lost and that people would not want to cross there.
But they say the location where the crossing is now to be built is in the wrong place - and have sent letters and a petition to councillors urging a last minute rethink.
Among those unhappy at the location now selected is Asher Minns, executive director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, who lives in Drayton Road.
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He said the scheme does not take account of Department for Transport guidelines over crossings and is frustrated at the council’s “intransigence” in the face of concerns.
Mr Minns said: “There’s never been an issue over having a crossing, it’s where it is. If it was just 10 paces away, on the other side of Stone Road, then that would make so much more sense.
“But this is completely the wrong thing, in the wrong place. It is on a raised table, so we’re going to get the SUVs and the buses going over there, causing noise, vibrations and pollution. It’s absolute intransigence they’re not willing to move it 10 paces.”
Robert Maguire, who lives in Drayton Road, and highlighted issues during the consultation process, said: “Residents in the area were given notice of this crossing being installed, and some people did bring up the problems and the concerns they envisaged.
“But, as seems usual, the council had made its mind up and nothing was going to change this. If it was to be installed outside their house one would presume a different stance would have been taken.”
However, Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: “This scheme was put forward by a local ward councillor, following requests from the local community for a safe crossing facility to be installed at this location.
“The proposed scheme went through the appropriate committee process, involving a full pedestrian crossing assessment and local consultation and was approved for delivery after taking all views into account.
“Consideration was given to locating the crossing the other side of Stone Road, but the results of the crossing assessment showed people would be less likely to use it.
“Another location closer to the car park entrance of the adjacent retail units was also rejected based on local feedback through the consultation as it would have resulted in further loss of resident parking.”
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