Campaign launched against 'unsafe' Hartlepool footpath and crossing plan

A councillor is organising a petition against a proposed footpath and crossing after branding the idea “unsafe” and “not fit for purpose”.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 7:57 am

Councillor Jennifer Elliott, who represents the Fens and Greatham ward on Hartlepool Borough Council, has met with council officers to express her concerns over the “makeshift” site in Greatham.

She said she is arranging a petition and a public meeting against the crossing in Station Road.

Council chiefs stressed the footpath and crossing is being installed by a contractor as part of an approved housing development in the area

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Councillor Jennifer Elliott at the site of the proposed footpath and crossing.

Yet Labour’s Cllr Elliott said: “Residents are against this proposal because it will encourage people, especially children, to cross the road where it is simply not safe.

“This is not a proper crossing with lights or road markings, in fact it’s little more than a gap in the hedge.”

However council chiefs said they are not reconsidering the footpath as “all the necessary checks have been taken through the planning process” and work is now ongoing.

They also stressed it is not a “gap in the hedge” but a formal tarmac footpath with staggered safety fence and dropped kerbs, as seen across the rest of the borough.

A council spokesman said: “This new footpath link and crossing is not being promoted or installed by the council.

“The footpath link will provide a valuable link into the village for pedestrians of the new housing estate.

“There is not the pedestrian footfall to warrant a more formalised signal controlled crossing and, therefore, the proposed footpath is the preferred solution.”

Council officers also argued residents currently cross at a number of points along the road where “visibility is less than ideal” and the new link will provide a boost to residents of the new estate wanting to access nearby playing fields.

Cllr Elliot also raised concerns around speeding in the area.

But council officers said they have taken the speed limit into account, and the onus is on village residents to respect their community and observe the limits.

Any resident who wants to express their view is encouraged to get in touch with Cllr Elliott at [email protected] or by ringing on 07432 155661.