need to follow the
IF you drive in Southport, you will be aware of the growing problem of
pedestrians taking no notice of traffic and just stepping out. One taxi driver,
who does not want to be named, told us:- "I have had many near misses, as
people just walk out and then look baffled to see me turning down the road they
have just stepped out of. Often it is followed by abusive gestures or shouting
that I am going the wrong way. The worst location is the Nevill Street junction,
when turning off the Lord Street (A565) or when crossing over Lord Street from
London Street, on to Nevill Street. Another area is on London Street, turning on
to Anchor Street. In both areas, people just don't look and walk across the
road. Even when the red pedestrian light is on and the green man light is on,
getting out of Nevill Street can be a problem, when turning onto Lord Street or
crossing over to go onto London Street." This has been backed up with
statements from Bus Drivers, who all report to us as to having near misses on a
frequent basis in Southport.
Our Editor has also experienced this growing
problem on many occurrences, not just at this location...
We have even taken video footage of this problem,
as you can see from the stills. One of the local delivery drivers has commented
to us:- "It's a dangerous junction both for pedestrians and drivers -
especially those who are not familiar with it... When it is the holidays, the
situation can get worse. Often you are stuck, as you can't go even on a green
light, as people just continue to cross the roads. One of the problems is the
confusing traffic system we have in the town centre, but the worst problem is
the growing number of OAP's. I am not an ageist, but an increasing number of
people crossing without looking on junctions or looking the wrong way are OAP's.
When the pedestrians cross and realise, they just continue anyway, followed by
their friends. One good idea would be to place road markings on the junctions,
like they do in London. Things like 'look left' and 'look right' as well as
'look both ways'."
A local shop owner then added:- "I have
seen dozens of near-misses when people can't work out what's going on. Despite
the fact that traffic is increasing in the town and the council is introducing
20mph limits, mistakes will happen. Sadly, if it is a large truck that hits
them, well... The council should stop blaming the vehicle drivers and also look
at the problems that our pedestrians are causing as well."
All of the
people commenting are worried they could be held to blame, if they have an
accident. "Another growing menace is the Mobility scooter for pedestrians
and motorists alike. Many zoom along and just do not pay any attention to other
road users. They seem to forget that they are bigger or just do not care.
Usually you will see one approaching vehicles then turning on roads, not slowing
down and just continuing in the direction they were heading in. If we hit one,
we would be ...."
A firm that has offices near the junction also said:-
"It is a busy junction and we should be using every option to keep people
informed. One of the options could be road markings, another might be making the
audio warnings on the traffic lights work."
So what do you, our readers,
think about the idea of putting markings for pedestrians on the roads? Email us
your views to:-
Over the 30mins
we took video over the Nevill Street junction, on a quiet day, the only
pedestrians not to wait, but walk out in front of cars turning, were 2 elderly
people. So is this controversial view true?
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