New road crossings approved to improve safety around Hartlepool retail park

Brenda Rd from Belle Vue Way. Picture: TOM BANKS

Brenda Rd from Belle Vue Way. Picture: TOM BANKS

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Two new crossings are to be installed by the council close to a Hartlepool retail park to improve safety for pedestrians.

Light controlled crossings will be added to Brenda Road and on Belle Vue Way following a number of accidents in the area and to make crossing safer for people visiting the Tees Bay retail park.

Council transport chiefs came up with the proposals after an earlier decision to reduce the speed limit on Brenda Road from 50mph to 40mph.

It followed the death of 14-year-old Rhys Hewitt in October 2014 after a collision outside the Stagecoach depot, and increasing numbers of people using the retail park.

The council said it is not possible to put a crossing on Brenda Road between the Belle Vue Way junction and the B&Q.

A report of Denise Ogden, Director of Regeneration and Neighbourhoods, said: “Ideally a new crossing would have been sited along this section of the road, however, a light controlled crossing must be sited at least 20 metres from a junction, and 50 metres from a bus stop.

“Taking into consideration the roundabouts at each end of this section of road, the bus stops on each side, the entrance to the public house/bus depot, and the pedestrian desire line, it is not possible to physically site a crossing facility here.”

A suitable location north of Park View Road West was identified for it to cater for people from the Jutland Road area going to and from Tees Bay Retail Park.

In considering a crossing on Belle Vue Way, the committee heard there had been seven accidents in the area in the last five years including two that were serious and involved people trying to cross the road.

The most recent was in October 2015 and involved 69-year-old Anthony Flounders who was on his mobility scooter when he was struck by a speeding car.

The driver, Carl Ianson, was jailed for three years after he pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The new crossing, also controlled by lights, will be sited close to the footpath link from Haswell Avenue.

“A crossing sited here would cater for people from the Foggy Furze area going to and from Tees Bay Retail Park and children from the Jutland Road area walking to St Cuthbert’s/St Aidan’s Primary Schools,” stated the report.

The estimated cost of the Brenda Road scheme is about £50,000, and ££90,000 for the A689/Belle Vue Way.

Councillors unanimously supported both crossings.

But due to budget pressures they asked for the crossing on the Belle Vue Way to be installed in the current financial year, and the Brenda Road crossing to be put in as soon as possible after April.