Fresh fears at danger bridge

South Shore resident Diana Pidwell is questioning the logic behind the siting of a pedestrian crossing on Lytham Road bridge near the junction with Station Road.
South Shore resident Diana Pidwell is questioning the logic behind the siting of a pedestrian crossing on Lytham Road bridge near the junction with Station Road.
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A CONTROVERSIAL zebra crossing which has been the scene of several road collisions since its installation has been slammed by a road safety campaigner.

The crossing lies on the crest of the Lytham Road railway bridge, in South Shore.

Most recently a woman was hit by a car last month, the second such incident on the crossing this year.

And Lytham Road resident Diana Pidwell, who initially campaigned for the crossing to be removed when it was installed two years ago says she is not surprised by the latest collision.

She said: “It’s lucky that both of these accidents were not serious but there could be a more serious one.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more in future and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was more serious either, especially if we continue to have the weather we’ve been having.”

The crossing was initially put in place after a study by Blackpool Council which showed the brow of the hill was the most common place for pedestrians to cross when walking from a nearby car park to the Promenade.

However Diana says car park users, who are often tourists, are unfamiliar with the area and often don’t realise they can’t be seen by motorists approaching the crossing.

She said: “You often see visitors coming from the car park to go to the Pleasure Beach and they use it without thinking. I do cross there sometimes but I’m extremely careful when I do.

“The obvious places for the crossing are at the bottom of the bridge.

Coun David O’Hara, who represents Waterloo, says the crossing is inappropriately positioned - but admitted there are no better alternatives nearby.

He said: “I don’t think it’s in the right place and a lot of people don’t think it’s in the right location, but the problem is where do you put one there?

“There’s a sign now to say there’s one there but some people don’t slow down.

“We’re looking at certain things in the area all the time and the bridge really is a problem.

“The only solution I’d have though of is a speed restriction but people just ignore them.

“It’s a twofold problem - the pedestrians sometimes don’t look where they’re going and sometimes the drivers just don’t look.”

CounFred Jackson, Cabinet Member for Streets and Transport, said: “This zebra crossing has been in place now on Lytham Road for over two years, and pedestrians and vehicles have learnt to share the road in this area well.

“Because of its location next to a busy car park, the bridge was already a heavily used crossing point for many people getting to the Promenade. Now the zebra crossing is in place, it is a much safer way for people to get across the road, especially since extra improvements to it such as the lengthening of the anti-skid surface to either side.

“The safest place for this crossing to be is at the crest of the hill, so that pedestrians can be seen early by drivers approaching from both sides, and since its completion it has done this job, with only two recorded incidents there over a long period of time.”

Police are appealing for information about the latest incident, which took place between 8 and 8.30pm on Saturday September 15 when a woman who was using the crossing was hit.

The driver of the car, described as a silver people carrier type vehicle, did stop at the scene and spoke with the two women but did not leave any of their details before driving away.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting log number 2240 of the 15th of September.