Bus stops moved during roadworks

Corby buses using Elizabeth Street.'13/02/12

Corby buses using Elizabeth Street.'13/02/12

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Work has begun to reinstate a pedestrian crossing which was removed as part of a £4m town centre regeneration scheme.

It will take two weeks to restore the crossing after a new shared surface in George Street in Corby town centre caused fears over safety.

During the building work, which started yesterday, bus stops on the section of the road outside The Cube will not be in use.

Passengers will have to use temporary stops in Elizabeth Street on both sides of the road in front of the Church of the Epiphany.

The section of George Street in front of The Cube will be closed until the roadworks are finished.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “The crossing in George Street, Corby, was designed as a shared surface which would provide a connection between the town’s main shopping area and the new plaza outside the Corby Cube.

“George Street has been restricted to buses and taxis only with a speed limit of 20mph with the shared surface acting as an informal crossing point. Shared surfaces are fairly common in Europe.

“When new road schemes are introduced there is always a period of time while people familiarise themselves with the new layout.

“The crossing has been in operation since July but following a safety audit it seems that the shared surface isn’t functioning as it should.

“It has been decided that a zebra crossing should now be installed. Work is starting on the crossing this week and is due to be completed by the end of the month.”

For weeks after the new road re-opened motorists ignored the restrictions banning all vehicles except buses and taxis in the stretch of George Street outside the Cube between 8am and 6pm.

In one spot-check carried out by police 84 vehicles ignored the ban in just one hour.

Bus-user Anne Caddis, of Pen Green Lane, Corby, said: “It’s not really an inconvenience because the bus stops are only being moved to Elizabeth Street for two weeks.

“The problem could have been avoided if they had given it more thought before they got rid of the zebra crossing.

“Cars continued to ignore the ban in George Street and it was difficult to get across the road safely.”