‘Houghton Regis High Street zebra crossings are dangerous’

One of the zebra crossings. Credit: Google Street View.
One of the zebra crossings. Credit: Google Street View.

A worried Houghton Regis parent claims that the new ‘Bedford Square’ zebra crossings are unsafe, as he and his son have nearly been hit a number of times.

Kevin Ratcliffe, of Houghton Regis, is concerned about zebra crossings by two High Street roundabouts that are located either side of the top of King Street (near Morrisons).

The frustrated father argues that the zebra crossings are too close to the roundabout entrance and exits, making them dangerous.

Kevin said: “Cars deliberately ignore the zebra crossings and speed across or they don’t see them and drive over by mistake.

“It is dangerous for children, and many elderly residents live in the area - I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody gets hurt or killed!

“Also, when sitting behind a lorry, cars do not see the zebra crossing, as the lorry covers it. Then when lorry moves cars drive straight over the crossing, unaware of it.

“We need CCTV cameras or traffic lights.”

A Central Bedfordshire Council spokeswoman, said: “This layout was designed to highway standards. When the roads are designed, crossing points are put at places where pedestrians want to go across the road, and this is often found to be in proximity to roundabouts.

“However, following public feedback, a Road Safety Audit process was followed and a full review is being carried out. In the meantime, some remedial measures to markings have already been made to help address residents’ concerns.

“We have considered traffic lights but our assessment is that it would cause more traffic congestion than the current arrangements of zebra crossings.

“The number of HGV vehicles using this route will become less when the forthcoming weight ban is implemented, as they will be using the new A5-M1 and Woodside link roads instead, and this will also help alleviate some of the resident’s concerns about lorries obscuring the zebra crossing routes.”

Town Mayor of Houghton Regis, Cllr Joanna Hillyard, on behalf of Houghton Regis Town Council, said: “The safety for those using the zebra crossings at the roundabouts in the High Street have been a concern to residents and road users in Houghton Regis since there completion.

“These concerns have been highlighted during the Town Councils Partnership Committee meetings.

“Three safety audits have previously been undertaken by Central Bedfordshire Councils Highways department (as the authority for highways) with a forth, we believe, due to be undertaken soon. It is hoped that the issues raised by the Town Council, Town Partnership Committee, residents and road users will this time be seriously considered and acted upon.”