Crossing accident raises safety fears

Accident on Lytham Road, South Shore
Accident on Lytham Road, South Shore
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SAFETY campaigners say their worst fears have come true after a pedestrian was hit on a crossing branded an “accident waiting to happen”.

When the zebra crossing was installed at the brow of a hill on Lytham Road, South Shore, last year, residents claimed they had seen dozens of near-misses as cars failed to spot the crossing in time to slow down.

And last week, a pensioner was rushed to hospital after being hit by a car while using the crossing.

The man, a Blackpool resident in his 70s, contacted The Gazette but did not wish to be named.

He said: “I had just been walking through the park, and crossed at the crossing.

“I don’t remember much about what happened, but the next thing I knew, I was on the ground and there was an ambulance there.

“I had a cut to my head and bruising and I still haven’t recovered.

“At first I was embarrassed, but now I realise it is a ridiculous place to have a crossing – neither cars nor pedestrians have a clear view of what’s coming.”

Blackpool Council say the crossing was in response to studies which showed the brow of the hill was the most common place for pedestrians to cross when walking from the car park to the Prom.

Diana Pidwell, who has campaigned for the crossing to be taken away since it was built in June, said: “I’m so sorry for the man who was involved in this accident.

“But I knew it was just a matter of time. Cars have a limited vision as they travel up, and pedestrians are naturally going to assume they can cross.

“It may have been a hotspot for crossing, but previously pedestrians would have been more careful rather than thinking it’s safe.”

Residents have questioned whether the crossing could compromise the bridge’s 7.5 tonne safety limit as buses and trucks are forced to stop for pedestrians.

Coun Robert Wynne added: “I raised it during a council meeting and made all these points, and was told the council would keep an eye on it and see if there were any incidents. I don’t think that was good enough. It should go now before anyone else is hurt.”

John Donnellon, Blackpool Council’s assistant director for regeneration and infrastructure, added: “The crossing has been positioned on the bridge so it is clearly visible from a distance with flashing beacons and traffic signs.

“This is a very busy stretch of road and it is necessary to cross here. We constantly monitor and review new crossings and we will continue to do that with this crossing in the future.”