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25th Jun, 2022

'Alarmed' councillors call for urgent review into crossing safety

‘ALARMED’ councillors are calling for a safety review into pedestrian crossings in Leicester Road, amid reports of drivers speeding through red lights and narrowly missing schoolchildren.

Borough Councillors Jim Ellis and Ramesh Srivastava, who represent Newbold and Brownsover, and County Councillor Sarah Feeney of Benn Ward are requesting investment into the route, which they say is unsafe due to aggressive drivers trying to beat red lights on the crossings.

During the first week of December, a car passed through a red light at the Tesco roundabout crossing, hitting a child and his bike before speeding away – leaving the child shaken, but fortunately not injured.

In response, many parents commented on social media that this was all too common an event and that something similar had happened to them and their children – some adding that they would not allow their children to walk to school as a result.

Couns Ellis and Srivastava contacted Coun Feeney and decided to meet to discuss and follow up on the near fatality.

At the crossing, the councillors said they saw ‘aggressive driving and startled pedestrians’, noting that much of the speeding was to beat the red lights.

The Labour councillors discussed the route to schools for children who need to cross Leicester Road, considered parental accounts of cars speeding through red lights, and decided to file for a safety review and to request investment for the route.

Coun Feeney said: “Ideally we need speed cameras and monitoring at traffic lights to catch offenders. Also we need to consider if the pedestrian routes are too close to roundabouts since drivers are emerging from the roundabout and failing to stop when lights are on red.”

Coun Srivastava added: “In an ideal world, an underpass or pedestrian bridge might also be appropriate. We appreciate this is an expensive investment – but it should be considered.”

The councillors agreed they had to ask Warwickshire County Council (WCC) for a review since the route was becoming unsafe and required enforcement.

Cllr Ellis said: “With the up-and-coming Avon Mill roundabout improvements, we need WCC to consider safety upgrades along the route.

“Since they will be streamlining car access, roads and pedestrian routes in one section with the Avon Mill upgrade, we must ask them to be more holistic and ensure the school route is also upgraded to a safe level further down the route.”

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