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Zebra crossing work finally set to start
SHOPPERS who have waited five years for a zebra crossing on a busy road in Wantage have been been told work will finally begin this month.
The money was part of section 106 planning gain from David Wilson Homes, when the developer built Willow Grange retirement block.
But despite having the money, the work has never been carried out.
Wendy Stimpson, 67, from Barwell, uses the road regularly to get into town, but she is concerned by the speed at which drivers take the corner going in and out of Sainsbury’s car park.
She said: “People are driving too fast around the corner and cannot see if anyone is trying to cross.
“One day there will be someone who can’t walk quickly enough and they will be knocked down.
“There are a lot of people besides myself who would like to know when we will be getting this crossing put in.
“We are told date after date but no crossing.”
She added that her grandson had almost been involved in an accident there recently.
The land on which Willow Grange was built was sold to David Wilson Homes by its original owner, Bushbuy, which still owns the land on which the shopping precinct is built.
Bill Atkinson of Bushbuy said: “The road opposite the Sainsbury’s garage is so wide it is a death trap to cross.
“You are getting an increasing flow of traffic and everybody coming from the other side of the bridge has to cross over.
“It seems unfortunate that, in times of financial constraints, a much needed crossing point is delayed even after payment has been made by the developer for the works.”
The county council officially adopted the stretch of road from Bushbuy earlier this year, after the developer connected street lamps on the road to the electrical supply.
Vale district councillor for Wantage Jenny Hannaby said the work was delayed by a “catalogue of oversights”.
“When I asked in 2009 when we were getting road work done we found out the road was not adopted,” said Mrs Hannaby.
“I believe the hold-up has partly been because the county council would like to do all the work in one go.
“It is vital that we get this work done in November, and that all of the work gets done together.”
County council spokesman Martin Crabtree said: “Implementing a road scheme like this requires us to bring together a number of elements such as land ownership, design safety audits and traffic counts.
“We also need to take account of local factors when scheduling the work and we try to select a time that is acceptable to traders and the local community.”
Mr Crabtree said work is due to start on November 30 but could not say how long it would take to complete.