Zebra crossing to be installed in Sandy where child was hit by vehicle

A school patrol officer will stay in place for a trial period

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 1:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th October 2021, 1:23 pm

A zebra crossing is to be installed in Sandy High Street close to where a child was struck by a vehicle.

But a school patrol officer will continue to operate there for a trial period once the crossing is in place.

The pedestrian crossing will be on the raised junction in the High Street, just west of Ivel Road.

Children crossing at a zebra crossing

A road safety audit will be done before any work begins and the project may still take at least two years to complete, a Central Bedfordshire Council traffic management meeting was told.

A 321-signature petition supporting a new crossing was presented to the local authority by Independent Sandy councillor Simon Ford in the summer of 2020.

A statutory consultation was held in August, according to principal highways officer Lisa Wright. Sandy Town Council welcomed the proposals, she said.

"There were five other responses. Two were supportive, a further two backed it but asked for a different location, and one was against, suggesting the school crossing patrol is sufficient.

The location of the planned crossing

"It's recommended the zebra crossing is on a raised table, which also helps slow the speed of traffic where pedestrians cross the road.

"The school patrol officer will remain in place. This will be regularly reviewed after three to six months to see whether it's still required."

The incident with the child being hit was outside the hours the school patrol operates, a traffic management meeting heard in January.

Conservative Sandy councillor Tracey Stock said: "You heard before about the accident that happened with a little boy being knocked over, so we thank you for agreeing to install a crossing in this area.

"It's very important and we're delighted with that. The recommendation to retain the crossing patrol officer will be appreciated by parents at the school, as she plays an important part."

She read a letter from town mayor councillor Martin Pettitt who said: "It will make a major contribution to improving road safety in Sandy."

Independent Sandy councillor Simon Ford agreed with the need for the crossing, although his "only issue is the location".

"Hopefully the road safety audit will highlight current concerns and the location be revised," he said. "It was suggested that it's moved to the entrance to Rectory Court."

Conservative Arlesey councillor Ian Dalgarno described it as "an ongoing issue since councillor Ford presented the petition quite some time ago".

He said: "There's conflict here because we've a raised table already on the desire line where the school crossing patrol operates.

"What I don't want is us to put in a zebra crossing further down the road because that's going to mean more conflict.

"The important part is the road safety audit as we move forward, which will address the issues raised.

"I have huge concerns about the conflict and reflect back on the accident with the child which ran across the road. Having a proper zebra crossing will resolve some of that. It's 20mph there already.

"It's a heavily used route and if we put a crossing off the desire line my concern is people will continue to use that to cross the road.

"The installation of the crossing will be two to three years," warned councillor Dalgarno, who chairs the meeting. "I want to manage expectations of how quickly this will go in.

"The recommendation is the zebra crossing goes on the raised table as an addition to the school crossing patrol. It will improve safety for children.

"If we took that patrol away in future it's about educating children to use that crossing safely."