Concerns raised over ‘unsafe’ Kettering crossing

The 'unsafe' junction.
The 'unsafe' junction.

A Kettering councillor has urged pedestrians who feel a new pelican crossing in the town isn’t safe to report it.

Cllr Anne Lee (Lab, Piper’s Hill) has voiced her concerns about the new road layout at the Northampton Road/Sheep Street junction.

She says the time pedestrians have to cross is simply not long enough and that the crossing is unsafe.

She said: “It is obvious to anyone watching the crossing that you get little time to make it safely to the other side.

“This issue certainly seems to resonate with Kettering people.

“I can tell that the bleeps lasting six seconds or so seem to be within the statutory guidelines for a crossing of that length, given that they are followed by some time before the lights change.

“However, there is a reasonable argument for giving pedestrians longer at this particular crossing.

“After all, we tend to take a little longer to check that the cars have stopped here because they approach with such speed and it is more difficult to check when you need to turn about 180 degrees to check out two bends in the road.

“If, like me and many other Kettering residents, this seems too short, please report it on Street Doctor.”

Although the changes were criticised when plans were first announced in February, road users have since praised them after they made driving through the junction easier.

But for pedestrians, there are still concerns.

Carol Blackburn commutes to London daily and says she has changed her walk to the station to avoid the crossing.

She said: “When I get three quarters of the way across the beeps stop and the lights change.

“The cars wait but there are vehicles coming up and down the hill and with such a sharp bend they might not see pedestrians.

“I’ve changed my route to the station to avoid it.

“It’s an issue and I can’t believe it wasn’t noticed by the council before.

“They need to make the crossing time longer at a minimum.”

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “This, like all the latest pelican crossings, sounds beeps while the green man shows.

“The green man is an indication to start crossing only.

“When the green man disappears, the on-crossing detectors extend the ‘red to traffic’ time whilst pedestrians are still on the crossing.

“Additionally, when new highways schemes finish, they are monitored to make sure they are functioning correctly and that the plans have translated into a ‘real world’ setting.

“With this scheme, like others, we will be consulting with people who encounter the new road layout, such as the visually impaired, to make sure it works well.”

To report the crossing on Street Doctor, click here.