Wheathampstead road crossing ‘needed now before someone dies’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 August 2010 | UPDATED: 09:42 24 August 2010

Rose Mary Morgan & husband Robert. Marford Road crossing appeal.

Rose Mary Morgan & husband Robert. Marford Road crossing appeal.

Archant

A DISABLED pensioner claims she was nearly knocked down by a car along a stretch of road subject to a long-running campaign for a pedestrian crossing to be installed.

The near miss happened as Rose Mary Morgan attempted to cross Marford Road in Wheathampstead on her way back from collecting a prescription for her 74-year-old husband Robert, who has just undergone knee replacement surgery.

Mrs Morgan, who is also registered disabled as she has had a hip replacement and suffers from arthritis, said the Land Rover vehicle came flying round a corner while she was stranded in the middle of the road opposite the Memorial Hall, which houses a library, surgery and a number of community groups.

The 70 year old, who makes the crossing around five times a week, said: “I was halfway across the road when this great big Land Rover came round the corner. It swerved round me and had to go on the other side of the road. I was quite shook up.”

The couple, who have lived in nearby Offas Way for six years after moving out of central St Albans, believe the lack of a pedestrian crossing is not only causing a danger to the many elderly people who live in the vicinity but is also posing a risk to the many children they see trying to negotiate their way across the road.

Mrs Morgan said the children’s football team, youngsters using the tennis courts and mothers with their tots made up just some of the estimated 1,000 crossings at the Memorial Hall site each week.

The campaign for a pedestrian crossing has been rumbling on for the past eight years during which time a number of petitions have been drawn up and meetings called.

Wheathampstead district councillor Chris Oxley said: “It is really important and urgent that we have the crossing and I would appeal to anybody who has any influence to do all they can to get this crossing in place before there is a fatality with old people or young people crossing the road to get to the doctors’ surgery or playing fields.”

Although Herts County Council has always maintained that the site falls below the required threshold for a crossing, this week a spokesperson confirmed that the situation was being reassessed: “We appreciate residents’ frustrations and we are pleased to confirm that we are currently working with the parish council in order to build a case for the site for it to be considered for funding for feasibility investigation. If this shows the need for a crossing, it will be considered for funding for building in future years.

“In the meantime, we are working with the police to help remind drivers of the 30 mph speed limit in Marford Road.”

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