Zebra crossing set for approval despite fears of 'flashing lights night and day'
- Credit: CCC
A zebra crossing is to likely be installed on Beresford Road, Ely, despite one resident protesting about “flashing lights day and night in front of our lounge window and upstairs bedrooms”.
Cambridgeshire County Council says it has reviewed two objections but agreed the crossing can go ahead on an existing flat topped road hump, 65 metres from St John’s Road.
The council is making its final decision this week.
"It is intended to provide a safe crossing place for pedestrians, including those travelling to and from the nearby school,” says the council.
“The proposed no waiting at any time (double yellow lines) would cover approaches to the mini-roundabout at the junction of Beresford Road and St. John’s Road.
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“Parking in this area is heavy, particularly at the start and end of the school day.
“Removing parked cars on these lengths of road would make it safer for pedestrians crossing on each leg of the junction by improving inter-visibility between drivers and pedestrians”.
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One resident complained that their house was near the proposed crossing and they were not unduly concerned by the white lines across the road hump.
“I do object to flashing lights all day and night in front of our lounge window and upstairs bedrooms,” they told the council.
“The problem of children crossing the road from the school only applies for 20-30 minutes in the morning and 20-30 minutes in the afternoon Monday to Friday.
“The majority of children are picked up by their parents so should be under parental control.
Officers told them the Belisha beacon globes will be fitted with shrouds to prevent light spill “so the intensity of any escaping light would be very low”.
The zig-zag markings were intended to prohibit drivers parking on the immediate approaches to crossings.
“Any pedestrian either using it or waiting to use it is visible to approaching drivers,” said the officer.
“Due to the safety implications, drivers are not allowed to stop on zigzags, even for short duration stops, for example when loading/unloading.
“There are significant lengths of kerbside parking available either side of the proposed zig-zag markings.
“School gate parking is a common concern outside many schools and is very difficult to address due to the short duration nature of it.
“The parking situation at the start and end of the school day is severe at this location, with parked cars on the footway and verges.”
The officer added: “It is hoped that the zig-zag markings for the crossing and proposed double yellow lines at the junction will stop people parking on the most critical lengths of road and better manage parking.”
A former councillor also objected, claiming that they felt the county council would not achieve its aims of parking violations.
“As an ex- City of Ely councillor, I’m aware of the origins of this project from our minor highways funding bids,” said the resident.
“But Beresford Road is no Lynn Road, Cambridge Road or Cam Drive – it is a quiet residential street with hardly any traffic for the majority of the day.”
The resident said that in 10 years of living nearby there has been no accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians.
"Where is the evidence, the traffic studies, demonstrating the need for a crossing?” he asked.
“If the school is so concerned, why have they not arranged for a crossing patrol person in the meantime?
“The crossing is in the wrong location – the desire for crossing the road is at the roundabout.
“It is known that zebra and pelican crossings generate accidents of their own, due to the false sense of safety they give to the user.
“It would be wrong to install one where there is no history of problems.”
An officer replied that the “proposals strike the correct balance in terms of stopping drivers parking on the more critical lengths of road, but not being unduly restrictive to nearby residents”.
One of those supporting the scheme said: “We have children who attend St John's School, and we're absolutely delighted that the crossing is being proposed. It's long overdue.”