Kettering councillors call for new crossing to be made safer

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

Kettering Labour councillors will ask for support tomorrow in their attempt to make the pedestrian crossing at the top of Northampton Road safer.

Concerns had been raised about the new crossing after work on the road layout was completed earlier this year.

Now two councillors want the county council to investigate the possibility of installing a pedestrian refuge or extending the barriers on both sides of the road.

Cllr Clark Mitchell is proposing the motion, and he says even the workers put temporary lights in a different place when the work was taking place.

He said: “The key thing for me is that even the workers put the temporary lights in a different place as they could see where people were crossing.

“I do not think the road layout has considered how people walk.

“Yes, it’s made the traffic flow smoother and that’s wonderful, but as soon as you get round the corner there is the crossing.

“I think it’s only a matter of time before an accident happens. How many near misses have there been?”

Cllr Anne Lee, who is seconding the motion, 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.”

Resident Valerie Pycroft says the lights change too quickly.

She said: “I would like to see the lights put back as they were before.

“That way, people would not shoot through the road like they do now.

“The lights change too quickly and cars come round the bend too fast. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Last week Northants County Council said it would consult with people to make sure the crossing is working well.

The meeting starts at 7pm in the Kettering Council chamber tomorrow (Wednesday).