Calls renewed for Saxongate Centre pedestrian crossing following near miss

CAMPAIGNERS fear there will be ‘a death on the road’ after hopes a new town centre pedestrian crossing would be installed close to the Saxongate Centre were dashed.

Residents of Bradbury Place say they are bitterly disappointed a request for the crossing on Hartford Road was turned down at a meeting of the Huntingdon traffic management area joint committee, last month.

The residents, many of whom have physical disabilities and use wheelchairs or frames to get around, say several people have only narrowly escaped injury while crossing the road.

Paul Banes, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, claims he was nearly hit by a car which came hurtling around the corner from St Mary’s Street, on Monday (February 6).

The 46 year old wheelchair user lives at Bradbury Place, behind the Saxongate Centre, and crosses the road three or four times a day to go shopping or meet friends.

He said: “The car nearly hit me by an inch. It had to hit the brakes very hard and it didn’t stop to see if I was alright. I spoke to the police, but they said they couldn’t help because I didn’t get the number plate.

“I’ve been nearly hit five or six times, and always on that corner. I am absolutely petrified about going out now.

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“There are plenty of people who live here that are deaf or have epilepsy, and there are plenty of children running around or older people. There are a lot of people that need a crossing.”

Five hundred people signed a petition calling for the crossing last year, but the joint committee voted against the proposal because of a lack of funds.

In a report produced by Cambridgeshire County Council officials ahead of the meeting, it was stated there have been no recorded accidents at the proposed site.

Sites where three or more people have been injured in accidents in the past three years are likely to get funding for a pedestrian crossing.

Instead campaigners were encouraged to seek out alternative forms of funding.

Huntingdonshire District Council chairman Jeff Dutton said: “It is not finished yet. I will be speaking to a few dignitaries to see if they would be willing to support it and finance a crossing. It will not take that much. We only need stop signs one way and it is a narrow place.”

Huntingdon Town Council say no discussion on funding a potential crossing has been held.