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A56 zebra crossing “more dangerous than before” – residents

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MORE than a month after work started on a long-awaited zebra crossing on the A56 near Lymm Dam, it is still not fully operational.
Although Belisha Beacons have been installed, power supplies have not been connected and the beacons are not yet flashing.
Now some residents fear the road is more dangerous to cross now than it was before work started.
Lymm Parish Council has been campaigning to have a zebra crossing near Lymm Dam for some two years.
The idea is to make it easier for pedestrians to cross the road between the Dam and the Dingle, which leads to the village centre.
Warrington Borough Council started work on the project at the beginning of January, and the A56 was closed for two nights to enable work to take place.
But some nearby residents say the partly completed crossing is “an accident waiting to happen.”
Local resident and Liberal Democrat campaigner Tim Martland said: “I live nearby and know how dangerous it can be for people crossing the road between the Dam and the Dingle. I welcome the crossing but the problem has been that the job has taken too long to complete. It has been left more dangerous than before with no belishas working. I have been told it will take up to two weeks for the electricity to be connected.
“The zig-zag lines on the Dam side of the road are confusing and cars are allowed to park too close to the crossing. Visibility is poor for vehicles travelling in the Warrington direction. I realise that the loss of parking places should be minimised at such a popular visitor attraction but public safety must be paramount.
I am in touch with our councillors and I know that two of them have expressed residents’ concerns to Warrington Council and asked for immediate action.”
A borough council spokesperson said: “The safety of pedestrians is of vital importance to the council and is given great consideration upon the installation of any highway measures.
“Historically a substantial number of people used this specific location to cross unaided and very few would detour to a new crossing at an alternate location along the route. Therefore the existing uncontrolled crossing needed to be upgraded to the zebra crossing presently being installed.  This crossing upgrade will increase the safety of pedestrians by warning approaching drivers in advance of the crossing – something that did not previously occur.
“Adjustments have been made to the pedestrian build out on the Dam side of the road to increase the visibility between pedestrians and approaching drivers passing by parked vehicles.
“As with all pedestrian crossings introduced, many checks were undertaken including traffic speeds in both directions. This revealed that though there may be singular instances of speeding, the average speed was below national criteria used to assess the safe installation of zebra crossing provision.”

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