Gyratory barrier removal 'dangerous', say councillors - The Rugby Observer
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Gyratory barrier removal 'dangerous', say councillors

Rugby Editorial 25th Feb, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

LIVES are being put at risk by the removal of pedestrian safety barriers around the gyratory system, councillors have warned.

Barriers have been permanently removed from outside the Methodist Church on Russelsheim Way and other locations around the junction to ‘declutter’ the area.

Liberal Democrat councillor for Eastlands Ward Neil Sandison met with concerned residents and members of the Methodist Church who claim removing the barriers is unsafe.

Coun Sandison said: “Churchgoers and residents of New Union Street and Firs Drive feel particularly vulnerable since the barriers were removed.

“This stretch of road has a very bad record of collisions and the barriers have protected both pedestrians and local properties from more serious damage.”

He cited an incident last March in which a car crashed into barriers, narrowly missing guests who were using the church as a night shelter.

“The barriers significantly arrested the vehicle and prevented a great deal of additional damage and possible personal injury.” he continued.

He added that removing the barriers would encourage jay walking in an area served by five schools, three sheltered housing schemes and the town centre.

“We believe it is too dangerous to experiment with a new traffic model on this stretch of road based on the theories of whitehall traffic gurus.” he said.

A spokeswoman for Warwickshire County Council said they had only received one letter of concern on the matter.

She said the barriers were being removed to comply with advice from the Minister for Transport which states: “Unnecessary street furniture and signs make streets unattractive places and increase costs for Local Authorities.”

She said: “The designers have acted upon the guidance to improve on public realm within this historical location.”

The council added there was no need to retain the guard railing between the Raglan Arms on Dunchurch Road and the existing Puffin crossing on Russelsheim Way because of lack of crossing facilities, and that additional crossing points will be added to Russelsheim Way and Dunchurch Road.

The spokeswoman added: “Guard railing will remain at key points where it is necessary to restrict pedestrian movements for road safety reasons. It should be noted that pedestrian guard railing is not designed to retain vehicles within the carriageway.”

Work is underway to improve traffic flow at the gyratory by widening lanes and adding traffic lights, and is expected to be completed by late March.

Lib Dem borough councillors Jerry and Sue Roodhouse, Neil Sandison, Dale Keeling and Bill Lewis with members of the Methodist Church congregation and residents at the corner of Dunchurch Road and Russelsheim Way, where pedestrian guard railings have been permanently removed.

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