Investigations into road accident record provoked by residents’ petition in Kilnhurst

Investigations are being conducted into the main street through a Rotherham community to establish whether it needs a pelican crossing to replace its traditional zebra, following a petition from around 1,400 residents.

Thursday, 14th February 2019, 1:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th February 2019, 1:32 pm
Investigation: Victoria Street's zebra crossing

They asked for a lights-controlled crossing on Victoria Street in Kilnhurst, which is used by a wide range of pedestrians including school children and pensioners, citing problems with speeding traffic and a record of collisions in the area.

The petition has gone in to Rotherham Council and was examined by members of its scrutiny committee, who asked for further work to be conducted by council officers, who are already surveying the road to confirm traffic levels and the speed of passing vehicles.

That is one of the main criteria used to establish whether pelican crossings are deemed necessary for road safety, though councillors were told that nationally there is little statistical difference between pelicans and zebras for casualty statistics.

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Petitioner Steve Straw told councillors: “In the late 1970s or early 1980s a petition was set up for the zebra crossing.

“As time has gone by Victoria Street has become a thoroughfare and is a very busy road. Cars don’t seem to respond to stopping at the zebra crossing, which has led to accidents over the years.”

However, residents’ impression of the road’s accident history was challenged by council officials, who trawled records for the last five years.

Transportation officer Matthew Reynolds told the meeting that from the last five years, there were no recorded accidents at that location, except for one in October last year. It has already been confirmed speed was not a factor in that incident, he said.

“Statistics nationally don’t show light controlled crossings being more safe,” he said.

The meeting was also told numbers of school crossing wardens in the area had been reduced in recent years, with councillors using devolved budgets to put ‘lollipop’ wardens back in place, in some instances.

Scrutiny committee members said they recognised the concerns of residents and asked for a report “at the earliest opportunity”.