Shropshire Star

Campaign group echoes concerns over safety of town's new zebra crossings

A campaign group has added its voice to criticism of new zebra crossings introduced in Shifnal.

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There are concerns over the safety at the pedestrian crossings put in as part of the work in Shifnal's town centre.

Shropshire Council has replaced one pelican crossing with two zebra crossings as part of a £3.6m programme of improvements in the town centre.

The crossings, one on Market Place and another on Victoria Road, have attracted criticism from local residents, who say there have been a number of near misses as drivers fail to stop.

Shifnal Town Council has written to Shropshire Council calling for signs to be introduced immediately to alert drivers to the new layout.

In response Shropshire Council has said that it had already commissioned a report to consider any safety issues with the crossings.

Now Shifnal Matters, a group which has been campaigning to protect the town from housing developments, has called for immediate action over the crossings.

A spokesman for the group said: "The double crossings around a busy junction with no light control is an accident waiting to happen and Shifnal Matters call for the pelican lights and railings to be reinstated immediately to ensure the safety of Shifnal residents."

The spokesman said they had raised the concerns during discussion over the plans for the revamp of the town centre, but they had not affected the decisions.

He said: "Shifnal Matters did a survey in conjunction with Shifnal Town Council before the plans for the town were approved and it showed that residents were concerned about the pelican crossings by Nan's cafe being removed."

In a statement last week Shifnal Town Council said: "It appears that in particular there is growing concern regarding the use of the zebra crossing by pedestrians within the scheme and the time-frame for advisory signage to be installed to ensure that both pedestrians and motorists are aware of the new layout and design including the introduction of the new 20mph speed limit through the designated area.

"As a result Shifnal Town Council have written to Shropshire Council highlighting these concerns and asking for the signage to be installed as soon as possible, in the meantime for temporary signage to be placed to enhance user awareness."

Commenting on the request earlier this week Richard Marshall, Shropshire Council's Cabinet member for highways, said: "We can confirm that the crossings conform to the appropriate highway design standards, are within a signed 20mph zone and on a raised table which extends across the whole of the Bradford Street/Aston Street/Market Place/Victoria Road junction.

"The crossings are in full use and installed as per the design supported by the town council.

"Prior to the concerns being raised, officers had instructed an independent assessment be carried out.

"We will receive the assessment report on Wednesday and any comments received will be from an individual who is qualified and experienced in this field of work. Any suggestions will be reviewed by the principal designer and the council.

"Shifnal Town Council will then be contacted with information being shared accordingly. A formal stage 3 Road Safety assessment will be undertaken in the New Year as per proper procedures.”