6:10pm Tuesday 10th April 2012
By Josh Barrie
NEIGHBOURS in Oxford divided by a busy main road are hoping their 20-year campaign for a new pedestrian crossing is set to finally succeed.
People living in the Donnington Bridge area say they have been living in fear of accidents on busy Weirs Lane for years.
They said a constant stream of traffic, often travelling fast, means they have struggled to cross over during rush hour.
Residents say two people have been hit by cars in the past five years, including an elderly man who is partially disabled as a result of the accident.
But now Oxfordshire County Council officers are drawing up plans for a crossing between Canning Crescent and Peel Place.
Letters are being sent to people in the area over the next few weeks, asking for feedback. The county council will decide whether to go ahead with the plans in June.
Resident Lilian Cherwood, from Fox Crescent, said: “One of our residents was seriously injured three years ago.
“We know the council is short of money, but they have previously said there haven’t been enough accidents for them to build a new crossing.
“I think it should really be a question of prevention rather than cure.
“It’s horrendous to cross here. It’s so dangerous walking children from Fox Crescent to Canning Crescent on the other side.
Cars drive through so quickly using us as a cut-through when they should use the ring road.”
Residents in the area also now fear traffic will increase when work starts on a new Tesco store on the corner of Abingdon Road.
Mrs Cherwood added: “I am terrified. It’s quite scary actually, because it will mean more traffic and more noise.”
The Rev Jane Sherwood, of St Luke’s Church in Canning Crescent, said: “It can be very dangerous, particularly for us at the church.
“Sometimes we have to cross the children when I lead groups in the hall and cars drive fast. It’s taken a long time for this to be looked at.”
Isis ward county councillor John Tanner, who represents the area, said he had been campaigning for 20 years to improve safety on the busy road.
He added: “After years of campaigning, people will be able to cross safely.
“At Weirs Lane, people take their life into their hands just to get to the shops.
“I am thrilled that council officers are going to propose a pedestrian crossing.”
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