Concerns mount over town centre road safety

Concerns are continuing to mount over the proposed location of new pedestrian crossing facilities in Keynsham Town Centre.

As part of work to complete the remodelling of Keynsham’s town centre, Bath and North East Somerset Council recently published long-awaited plans for the location of pedestrian crossings within the town centre.

However the plans have drawn criticism from both residents and the town’s Conservative Councillors, who have warned that some of the proposed crossings are not situated at the most logical crossing points, meaning that pedestrians may instead choose to cross the road at more dangerous locations without the aid of a crossing.

Councillors in the town have been contacted by a number of local residents voicing their concerns over the plans, including from a retired police officer with twenty-five years on the Road Traffic Department who also raised fears over the lack of distinction between the road and pavement at the new development due to the low level of the kerb.

Councillor Alan Hale (Cons, Keynsham South), who has been leading calls for a rethink of the plans and works as a road safety professional in his day-job, said:

“Over the past few weeks I’ve had a number of residents get in touch with me to voice their fears over the safety of pedestrians in the town centre, including one email from a retired traffic police officer.

“The fears raised by residents only go to heighten the serious concerns I and my fellow councillors already have about the Council’s proposed locations for pedestrian crossings in the town centre. I’ve been continuing to press the Council on the need to get the location of the pedestrian crossings right, or it will simply end up having to rip them out and relocate them again – with all the cost and disturbance this would cause.

“It seems somewhat perverse that we have built a brand new civic centre and One Stop Shop, yet make it less accessible than the old civic centre that it replaced.”

Under the Council’s plans, there will be no pedestrian crossing in the previous location on Temple Street outside the barber shop, formerly a dry cleaners, with a crossing instead situated further along Temple Street towards the Fire Station, where there is currently a temporary crossing.

Councillor Charles Gerrish (Cons, Keynsham North), who recently brought local MP Jacob Rees-Mogg to view the site and discuss their concerns, commented:

“Residents are feeling increasingly fed-up with the failure by B&NES to properly keep residents informed of what’s going on, such as exactly when the road will finally get resurfaced and how the Council will address concerns over the crossings.

“B&NES really needs to get its act together on this.”