Broadstone Liberal Democrats have been campaigning to stop Poole Council ripping out a safe crossing island and replacing it with a zebra crossing on Lewesdon Drive.
Vikki Slade has worked hard to voice the concerns she has recieved from residents and explains more about the situation:
"You may have seen the arrival of workmen from Borough of Poole this week to begin the construction of the new zebra crossing and the removal of the traffic island on Lewesdon Drive.
I have spoken to many of you over the last 6 weeks and I wanted to update you on why this is proceeding, and apologise for failing to get the council to listen to the community.
The proposal only came to light at the end of June when the “Lollipop Lady” left the council and officers took the decision to replace the school crossing patrol with a 24 hour Zebra Crossing in its place. On a road without any other traffic measures this would have been a positive move but in this location, we know that the island has the main impact on the speed through Lewesdon Drive and to remove it will have a detrimental effect.
When your letters and my pleas – along with those of my colleague Cllr Mike Brooke – were going unheeded, I started a petition and went to the Daily Echo in the hope that this would make the council change their mind. I asked for a delay so this could be referred to the appropriate council committee, the petition considered and a decision made by councillors in September, and any work – which for me was to improve the lineage and signage – could be done in the half term holiday at the end of October, or even during the Christmas break.
This was denied and I called a meeting with officers I raised the concerns of residents and parents about the expected increase in speeding vehicles from removing the island and my anger over the excessive cost – around £30,000 – of the project which not only rips out the island but builds out the corner of the Lewesdon cul-de-sac, and raises the road surface for the zebra crossing.
I proposed that the island could be retained and a flat zebra crossing could be installed at the southern end of Lewesdon Drive where it could benefit children visiting the park, and pedestrians coming up from the village centre, whilst the existing island kept traffic slow and retained a safe crossing area on the northern side. This would have only cost around £10,000 to £15,000 – a significant saving – and kept traffic slow. This was rejected on the grounds that “it would need to be re-advertised” and that “at 95m away children cannot be expected to change their route to school”.
I have appealed to the Head of Transportation to reconsider this decision and, again, gone to the local newspaper but it seems our concerns are falling on deaf ears.
I have had one small success - I have persuaded the council to add new painted 20 mph roundels at both ends of the road, after residents reminded me that this had been requested and ignored several years ago. I have also reported the concerns we have about the use of the road by learner HGV drivers, and the road is also now on the list by Dorset Police No Excuse Team for speed checks. There is little more I can do other than to monitor the safety of the area.
Thank you to all who have supported the campaign and signed the petition."