Oh, so NOW you care what we think, do you? NOW you want to hear our opinion writes Dave Burrows.
Councillor Mansel Williams has decided that the pedestrian refuge on Smithfield Road (yes, THAT again) should be given a stay of execution while the people of Shrewsbury have a vote on its future.
Funny, but I don't remember anyone letting us have a vote on the bloomin' thing when it was dropped into the middle of a main route through the town with the usual minimal consultation.
Had we been given a vote, I suspect the answer to the question: 'Would you like us to blow £19,000 installing a pedestrian crossing RIGHT NEXT TO a pedestrian bridge (or, if you will, a 'crossing')?' might have been something along the lines of: 'You can hear yourselves, right?'
Shropshire Council has approved plans to get rid of the crossing, following complaints that its position causes serious traffic congestion.
Something they might have worked out earlier if they'd, ooh, let us have a vote on it. Which they didn't.
I like Mansel. He rides a bike everywhere. He says 'Belle Voo'. And he's a good local councillor. But I'm not letting him have this. I think perhaps the fact that he does cycle everywhere is clouding his opinion.
He says he will be approaching senior managers at the council about the possibility of holding a referendum.
He says he believes the removal of the refuge will 'simply give the message that Smithfield Road will become once again a race track for the motorised vehicle to speed along'.
'The motorised vehicle.' That phrase speaks volumes.
Councillor Williams says his opinion is shared by 'many who stay silent'. That being the case, what makes him think this silent majority will suddenly find their voices when it comes to the referendum? In Britain, it's a big enough struggle to get people to come out of their houses to say who they want to run the country, let alone get them to have their say on a different kind of useless grey lump.
Unless Mansel's thinking of starting a reality TV show and giving the refuge a back story where its grandfather (a zebra crossing in Coventry) was badly damaged in a car accident then I don't see too many people making the effort.
Councillor Keith Roberts thinks Councillor Williams should accept the decision because it has already been scrutinised by council watchdogs twice.
Keith says: "Anything else now is costing money.”
Actually, what cost money was installing a road crossing next to a road crossing for £19,000 and then deciding to take it away a couple of years later at the cost of £5,000.
There was simply no need for this situation to arise. Just ask anyone.
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