Aldershot pelican crossing petition startedBy Nick Edmondson
September 26, 2012
RUSHMOOR borough councillors have launched a petition calling for an improved pedestrian crossing in the North Town Ward of Aldershot.
Labour councillors Frank Rust, Sue Dibble and Keith Dibble set their stall out at the North Town Community Base on Saturday, inviting residents to add their name to a petition calling on Hampshire County Council to improve the crossing in North Lane.
The road currently has a zebra crossing, but the councillors want to see that replaced with a signal-based pelican crossing.
Cllr Keith Dibble said the launch was well supported.
"We had a great response. Everyone that went past us wanted to sign and express their concerns that the current situation is dangerous," he said.
"It's a very busy road, while the crossing is at the busiest point on the road itself, with all of the shoppers and those coming from the estate as well.
"We have spoken to the people who live around here and it is well known that you see near misses every single day. It is a matter of time before there is a serious accident and we want the council to take action before that happens.
"We are well aware that a crossing like this will not be free, but the council has a budget for this and we would like to show how strong the public opinion is that this crossing is not safe."
The group plans to continue the campaign for the next four to six weeks, before presenting the petition to the county council in a call for action.
County councillor for Aldershot East, Eric Neal, claimed the petition was only brought up by Labour councillors as a pre-election stunt.
"To my knowledge over the last eight years the Labour party has raised this issue at least three times, particularly as we move towards local or county elections," he said.
"On two occasions they have raised a petition in support, demanding a controlled crossing be installed for the safety of residents.
"Each time this bid has failed, they blame the Conservative-controlled Hampshire County Council; they never give the reasons why it failed, just those terrible Tories."
Cllr Neal claims that the crossing falls below the requirements laid out by the Department of Transport, which generally only call for a controlled crossing when vehicle speeds are particularly high.
He added: "Traffic flows in North Lane mini shopping centre are busy but not that busy. Vehicle speeds are below 30 mph. There are not sufficient pedestrians in the mini shopping area to warrant a controlled crossing.
"The county council is not irresponsible. If there was a safety requirement for a controlled crossing it would have been installed by now."