Safety fears over 'too dark' new pedestrian crossing
PUBLISHED: 16:17 15 January 2019
Concerns that a new pedestrian crossing on the busiest road in Diss is too dark are set to be investigated by highways engineers just two months after it was installed.
Work to replace the traffic lights pedestrian crossing outside Diss Leisure Centre on Victoria Road with a more cost-effective zebra crossing lit with belisha beacons was completed in November.
However the changes on the busy A1066 road have led to fears that it is too dark for motorists to see people using the new pedestrian and cycle crossing.
Highways engineers are now set to revisit the site to assess whether extra lighting is needed after the issue was highlighted by Diss county councillor Keith Kiddie.
He said: “A number of people had raised it with me and said it is a bit dark. That is slightly odd as the street lights haven’t changed, they are exactly as they were when we had the traffic lights. It should be as bright as it has always been but somehow it isn’t.
“I stood there as it went from dusk to dark and I thought actually they do have a point. It is bizarre because there are two street lights on one side of the road less than 10m from the crossing and on the other side you have all the lights from Diss Leisure Centre so you would think it would be light enough.
“I’m not sure whether it is because people have a different attitude driving up to a zebra crossing compared to traffic lights where you would automatically think you might have to stop so perhaps you were mentally more aware.”
The brightness of the crossing has sparked debate on social media with concerns that is poses a danger and some claiming to have experienced near misses.
The crossing was designed following consultations between Norfolk County Council, South Norfolk Council and Diss Town Council.
Norfolk County Council’s Safety Audit team had concluded the £150,000 cost of replacing the traffic lights was not viable due to the low footfall of people using the crossing.
Mr Kiddie said: “I have spoken to the highways engineers and they are going to come down and have a look at it. If necessary they will do something. What we don’t want is a problem for want of a couple of up-lighters. They have told me will get back to me as soon as possible.”