Crossing to end safety concerns

Pedestrians crossing at the point where the zebra crossing used to be
Pedestrians crossing at the point where the zebra crossing used to be

A zebra crossing is to be re-instated in Corby town centre following fears over pedestrian safety.

Work will start in the next few months to put back the crossing in George Street, which was removed as part of a £4m improvement scheme.

Since the completion of the work last summer there has been confusion among drivers and shoppers over who has right of way at the new walk zone between Corby Cube and Corporation Street.

Now, after a county council safety audit, it has been decided to bring back the crossing.

A spokesman for the 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.

“The crossing has been in operation since July but following a safety audit it has been decided that a zebra crossing should now been installed.

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

“However, in this instance it seems that the shared surface isn’t functioning as it should.

“Work should start on the zebra crossing in the coming months.”

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.

Joan McKay, of Shire Road, Corby, said; “It’s about time. I’ve made no end of complaints to Corby Council about it but they said it was the county council’s responsibility.

“It’s been terrible trying to cross George Street. You don’t know when to go across and when to stay. Sometimes it’s taken me as long as five minutes. I’m pleased they’re putting the zebra crossing back.”

Alice Sawyer, of Steyning Walk, Corby, said: “It’s been terrible for pedestrians, and quite dangerous too. No one seemed to know who had the right of way.”