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Planned courtesy crossings for the Market Place raise safety concerns

Traffic backs up trying to exit Cork Street.

Concerns have been raised about proposed plans to install courtesy crossings for pedestrians in the Market Place.

In March, Frome Town Council agreed to continue with a proposal to remove most of the parking around the Boyle Cross, to convert the Market Place to a 20mph limit and to add new courtesy crossings.

But local resident Doug Insall – a retired supervising design and layout engineer – has raised concerns about the courtesy crossings. He said, “The council has chosen “courtesy crossings” and these are shared spaces where neither the pedestrian or motorist have right-of-way and they can lead to serious safety issues.

“The “courtesy crossing” would act like a zebra crossing during very busy times and once pedestrians start crossing, the continual flow would frustrate motorists who will then force their way across to the detriment of safety!  They cause confusion and insecurity around the country where high traffic flows exist.”

Doug also spoke up for local disabled residents saying, “The biggest complaint comes from the blind and the partially sighted. Guide dogs that accompany a visually-impaired person are trained to stop at a kerb, but these crossings will have dropped kerbs and confuse these magnificent animals.

“The NFBUK, The Voice of Blind People, has also appealed to the Government to launch an independent inquiry into the design principles of shared spaces.”

With 10,000 vehicles a day passing through the Market Place, Doug believes the crossing scheme is not suitable for the volume of traffic.

“This type of crossing is only recommended in a low traffic flow environment and considered to be well below 100 vehicles an hour, but Frome is not a sleepy little hollow and is totally unsuitable,” he said.

“We should consider all road users equally, but the busy Cork Street has not been considered at all and to be trapped between two “courtesy crossings” will lead to absolute chaos at certain times!”