Shropshire Star

Safety review finds 'no issue' with Shifnal's new zebra crossings despite residents' concerns

A council says an independent safety review has rejected calls for two of a town's new zebra crossings to be replaced with pelican crossings.

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

Shropshire Council had asked a road safety expert to review work in Shifnal, which is part of an ongoing £3.6m package of improvements to the town centre.

The plans have seen one pelican crossing replace with two zebra crossings on the Nan's Cafe corner.

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

Shifnal Town Council had written to Shropshire Council to highlight the concerns, while the town's campaign group, Shifnal Matters, asked for the crossings to be replaced with pelican crossings.

Now Shropshire Council says it has received the findings of the safety review, and although it highlights some areas for work, the zebra crossings will not be replaced with signalised crossings.

Richard Marshall, the council's cabinet member for highways, said: "The safety auditor noted the reduced number of zig-zag markings at each zebra crossing and recommended installing the standard eight markings (instead of the current two).

"The conditions on the day of the site visit were particularly poor and new pavement surfaces hold water which impacts on the visibility of markings.

"However, we will undertake a site review to determine the point that the zig-zag/zebra markings become visible and if necessary increase these to match the stopping distance at 20mph. Notably, the appropriateness of zebra crossings, as opposed to signalised crossings, has not been raised."

He added: "The missing crossing 'studs' need to be added. These will not be metal studs but painted road markings."

Mr Marshall said that the town council had also been informed of the findings.

He said: "The town council – who were aware of and supported the scheme’s design, which included the new zebra crossings – has been issued with a full response. Copies of photographs evidencing the advance warning signs for the zebra crossing, which were part of the scheme scope, have also been provided along with a copy of the Safety Review report.

"Details of the formal Stage 3 Safety Audit, which will be carried out in mid-January, will also be shared with the town council."

A separate issue, where parking bays have on Bradford Street have been altered – and residents are not parking correctly, was also raised.

The council has put in parallel parking bays along Bradford Street, but some residents have continued 'echelon parking', where cars are parked on the diagonal.

Mr Marshall said extra signs and a traffic order would be put in place to prevent the situation.

He said: "The safety auditor recommended additional signing to prevent echelon parking. At the time of the site visit not all signs had been installed as this has been subject to concluding the Traffic Regulation Order process.

"The order is being progressed through the approval process and once the order is 'made' it can then be enforced.

"The final restricted zone signs are due for installation from today (November 25) in preparation for the order coming in to force shortly."