I’m tired of dodging near-suicidal dashes

Share this article

S0, the members of the TAPC (Todmorden Accident Prevention Council) have recommended a single lane entrance on Burnley Road at the town centre roundabout with the comment that “the actual loss of three or four car lengths is considered insignificant in traffic flow”.

All for reasons of safety for pedestrians crossing Halifax Road opposite Water Street. What a singularly inappropriate solution to only part of the whole problem.

No mention of pedestrian safety for those similarly crossing the Burnley Road from the White Hart Fold; no mention of the poor siting of the Halifax Road bus stop; no consideration given to the inevitable increase in the difficulty for traffic trying to exit the White Hart fold, and no consideration for the inevitable increase in snarl ups and potential traffic accidents on the three approach roads and on the roundabout itself. Wonderful.

I don’t remember seeing any reports of actual accidents or fatalities on the existing crossing points adjacent to the roundabout but I do accept that there is a potential safety issue for pedestrians as reported.

However, as a motorist I am fed up at being left stranded on the roundabout or having to stop sharply as a result of the sometimes near-suicidal dashes of pedestrians (sometimes with kids in a buggy) attempting to cross the often busy roads at these points.

As an alternative to a single traffic lane, why not come down on the side of the motorist for a change and put up barriers on the kerb and road islands to prevent pedestrians crossing at these points?

There are safer, controlled pedestrian crossings on each of the approach roads within a short walking distance.

For those who may not like this as a solution then consider whether convenience or safety is the priority, because I can’t see with a single Burnley Road traffic lane how speeding and accidents can be prevented when traffic volumes are light and traffic flows are then unimpeded.

Also for those pedestrians with lesser mobility I guess I would have to question the advisability and wisdom of trying to cross any road next to a busy roundabout anyway; accessing a controlled crossing might just be worth it.

The controlled crossings were placed where they are to provide safer crossing points, taking pedestrians away from the rather more dangerous roundabout.

So why not encourage the use of the lower-risk controlled crossings and discourage the higher-risk crossings next to the roundabout?

Let’s have a fully accessed roundabout for smoother traffic flows and let’s also have fuller use of the controlled crossings for improved pedestrian safety.

Whatever the outcome please let’s not replicate in Todmorden the nightmare that is driving through Hebden Bridge at busy periods.

Geoff Evans

(by email)