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Pickering mum speaks out over bridge footpath risks
THE historic stone bridge over the river in Pickering is a safety hazard for pedestrians, according to a local mum.
Kirsty Vincer lives in Castlegate with husband Bart and their children, Dan, nine, and Freya, seven.
She said: “The narrowness of the pavement on both sides of the bridge, the speed and volume of traffic, and the large number of pedestrians, combine to make it very dangerous.
“I have been knocked twice by car wing mirrors while walking on the pavement. I can only imagine with horror what might occur if a child is knocked that way.
“It is particularly concerning when the large buses combine with traffic travelling in the opposite direction. If this happens at the same time as parents pushing prams, or pedestrians with wheelchairs, there is little room to manoevre with young children.”
Ms Vincer has told the town council of her concern for pedestrian safety in Bridge Street, especially at school times. Now the authority has taken up her plea with North Yorkshire County Council’s (NYCC) highway chiefs in a bid to improve the busy thoroughfare which links the town centre with the Memorial Hall and Potter Hill.
Ms Vincer has put forward three suggestions to improve safety:
• make Bridge Street and the bridge one way and widen the pavement
• introduce a give-way system
• or introduce speed humps.
She said: “Pickering is not pedestrian friendly. There is no zebra crossing, and anyone who uses a wheelchair or pushchair is well aware of the poor pavement-to-road access.
“With increasing traffic in our town, it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt.”
Andrew Husband, town clerk, said: “The council was sympathetic about the proposals to deal with the problem, but was sceptical about them.”
He said the county council was now being asked why it had not removed kerbs which edged the western end of the passageway between the library and the tourist information centre as had been agreed several years ago.
“Removing them would enable the disabled, visually impaired and people with pushchairs to move between Train Lane and The Ropery more easily and provide an alternative route to Bridge Street,” he said.
In June 2008, said Mr Husband, NYCC had decided “to adjust the kerb” at the change of level to the rear of the library to bring about a connection between Train Lane and The Ropery.
He said: “The town council had urged the county council to carry out this work following representations from residents.”
The town council is expected to debate the issue at its next meeting when a reply should have been received from County Hall.