After the idea of keeping the Puffin crossing, even though from what we can make out, it will just increase the congestion that all of the works are supposed to relieve. The idea of the crossing at Peak Lane raises its head again. Wouldn't it be nice if our elected representatives and the people that they employ actually took the role of being OUR public servants?
Contents of an e-mail sent to Cllr. Hockley with copies to T. Harper (FBC), Suella, and R.Humby (HCC)
"Dear Cllr Hockley,
Can I interpret from the lack of any kind of response to my last email from either Cllr Humby or yourself the issue of the crossing at the A27/Peak Lane intersection has been swept under the carpet until something like this happens.
I am quite upset to say that as much as I would love to walk my son to school I now drive him 90% of the time (as I know do a couple of other parents) simply because of having experienced first and second hand too many near misses on this intersection.
Please correct me if I am wrong but I am led to believe that there is now a proposal for a permanent light controlled pedestrian crossing by the railway station, right above the subway, approximately 100 yards from a foot bridge and 300 yards from another set of pedestrian lights all for access to a single bus stop. I assume from your previous response about lack of accidents at the Peak Lane junction that there have been a number of incidents involving pedestrians at the Railway Station crossing, even though the aforementioned alternatives have been provided?
Again please correct me if I am wrong but someone had mentioned that the crossing is being installed because the subway does not meet the current accessibility requirements. If this is the case why is a crossing being provided here for the use of a single bus stop, when the requirement for one at the Peak Lane intersection in light of access to 2 special schools alone surely far outweighs this? In addition surely the designers would have had the foresight to either design the subway to meet the requirements during the latest refurbishment works or fill the subway in entirely to save tax payers money on maintenance costs as surely no one will use the subway once a shorter more pleasant alternative is provided?
As a side note please can I ask what is happening at the end of Larches Gardens and Catisfield Road itself. There is a very nasty pothole on the Larches Gardens/Catisifield Road junction which I assume the council know about as it has been marked out for months. I am sure this is causing damage to the vehicles using it (particularly with the need to drive to school more often and those who don't use it regularly and forget it is there) and has been made worse by the recent resurfacing of Catisfield Road. New road markings have been painted on this junction even though I am assuming it is going to be dug up in the near future. Surely another waste of money. Catisfield Road itself seems to have had half the white lines marked out and then been left."
To be fair Cllr. Hockley, after being prompted, did respond to the petition, which is more than can be said for anybody else. It would seem from reading para 1 that the only time that HCC would have any interest in this request will be when somebody is finally killed. Obviously safety of our children and elderly takes a very back seat when it comes to spending money on our roads.
Here is the response from Cllr. Hockley, Cllr. Humby obviously hasn't found the time in his 60 hour week to delegate one of his subordinates to respond and would prefer to ignore such requests.
"Over the years and In my time as a County Councillor I have put a case to the County Council for a good crossing point over he A27 near to Peak Lane several times and on each occasion the request has ben rejected. In general terms this has been for two reasons firstly the possibility of crossing the road when the RED lights have stopped the traffic flow thus allowing adults with children to safely cross to the centre reservation and await the same RED light process the other side of the road.
The second reason and I suspect the more telling is the fact that over the years and with the exception of a female motorcyclist who died when her motorbike hit a vehicle. With this exception and to my knowledge no other fatal or indeed serious or slight accidents with pedestrians have occured. It is of course very likely that you will consider that these reasons do not take into proper account the "perceived danger". I did however forward your e-mail to Cllr Humby and I am confident that he would have studied it and doubtless given further consideration to the matter, I cannot comment that he failed to respond other than to let you know that he works a minimum 60 hour week,
In any event I apologise for the lack of a reply and will copy my response to you to Cllr Humby and your MP Suella Fernandez. ALSO To your two Councillors Tiffany Harper and Connie Hockley who is presently serving as your Mayor. Regretfully we cannot win all of the time but in honesty we do try.
I hope your Christmas will be a joyous occasion , with best regards,
Just for interest compare the situation with that at the Highlands Road junction where there are no schools, pubs, parks or any other facility on the other side of the road, it is a far more simple junction, just one road joining the A27 with good sighting, but there is a light controlled crossing there so Cllr. Hockley's argument in para.1 holds no water, one can only assume that death or serious injury is the only argument that will be accepted.
Link to the original referendum site
Update 16th October 2016
After kindly receiving a copy of the reply from the previous petition on this subject I have emailed a response to Rob Humby from the Economy, Transport and Environment Department at Hampshire County Council. Please click here to see a copy of the original reply and click here to view my response. I will publish any further communication as and when I receive it.
The petition is currently now just over a week old with over 400 signatories and still growing.
The more signatures the better.
Article in The News
A petition for a light controlled pedestrian crossing at the A27 - Peak Lane junction has been raised. I understand that a hard copy petition has already been raised by one of the school councillors but apparently Hampshire County Council's attitude was that it was unaffordable and because it was outside of the school catchment area it didn't count. Isn't it funny how so much money can be spent on surveys about devolution - something that we still haven't really been asked whether we want it or not - yet finance cannot be found for a safety feature on a major road? The fact that it is outside of the school catchment area is completely erroneous - surely it should be down to just two factors:
1) Is there a safety requirement?
2) Is there enough local support for such a crossing?
After all the Council are supposed to be public SERVANTS and in any normal definition of the word they should attempt to do to the best of their abilities, as instructed by their employers - US.
Considering that in the 3.5km stretch of the A27 between St. Margarets and the station roundabouts there are 3 light controlled pedestrian crossings, one at every other junction except this one and the one at the top of Bishopsfield Road - the two with major schools just the other side of the A27. This particular junction has 2 infants, 2 special needs and 1 junior school, 2 pre-schools, bus stops and a pub all of which need to be accessed from the north side of the road, and on the other side Blackbrook Park and bus stops for the town centre. Although it may not be the most used crossing (although I may have that wrong never having surveyed the site) it is probably the most dangerous due to the number of very young children needing to cross it and the complexity of the junction. Even with the most careful of parenting 5 year olds can still be extremely difficult to control in such situations.
So out of the 8 schools along the A27 only one has a pedestrian crossing at the closest point. Pupils from the other 7 have to walk quite a reasonable distance before there is a safe place to cross this busy, main arterial road through the borough.
Now would be the ideal time to address this situation with the amount of works going on on the A27 it would cause minimal cost and disruption.
Since this article started I have received the following text from the petition organiser:
Since setting up this petition I have been very surprised at how quickly it has grown, obviously there is a need for this crossing in the opinions of local residents.
I have also found that this is only the latest of a number of campaigns. This is at least the 3rd petition in the last couple of years which again to me shows the need for it.
So far I have only managed to find one of the other petition organisers who has very kindly offered to give me a copy of the reply from Hampshire Council to her petition.
It does sound as if it will be a bit of a fight to get the council to install the crossing though. Apparently previous replies from Hampshire council are that the pot of money was empty
and that their calculations meant it wasn't required. I am looking to send the petition to the Council at the end of October/beginning of November.
In the meantime I shall be contacting our local representative on Hampshire County Council in response to this letter once I have it, to try and understand the justification of the Council's response.
From what I know at the moment it seems to me in complete conflict with the reasons for the other upgrade work on the rest of the A27 as well as the planned Stubbington Bypass.
I will publish the letter from the council and my response to it once it is ready on this site but if anyone else has any ideas, responses from previous petitions, questions they think are relevant, etc. that may help with the campaign please could you let me have copies and or comments.
Isn't it funny though how they can spend thousands of pounds for surveys into what form of devolution we are going to get even though we still haven't been asked if we want to devolve anything at all.