Call for new crossing to make main Epworth junction safer for pedestrians
A call to make the main crossroads at Epworth safer for pedestrians has resulted in road safety chiefs considering installing a pedestrian crossing.
The crossroads along the A161 provide access to the main gateway into the town, linking it with High Street.
But it also takes volumes of traffic from Scunthorpe and the M180 to Gainsborough.
The crossroads link Burnham Road with Belton Road and there are residential properties on its doorstep.
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Traffic on the crossroads is controlled by automatic lights and although the junctions have pavements running alongside, there is no official pedestrian crossing which alerts people when it is safe to cross.
Many pedestrians rely on making a dash across the road once the traffic lights have turned red – but they have to do this before the traffic starts to move on a green light from the opposite junction.
Epworth Town councillors have met to debate the issue.
Councillor Bob Fish said: "Members of the public have come to me over their concerns about the crossroads at the top end of Epworth.
"If they are crossing Belton Road they have the view of three roads, but it's cars coming down the High Street after the lights change.
"As they are coming towards it, they speed up and go around that corner towards the motorway.
"Drivers cannot see around that corner, so when pedestrians set off, they are in the middle of the road before they are aware there is a car coming.
"That's what the problem is. Elderly people don't have time to get across before the traffic lights change and cars go through."
Councillor Peter Davies added: "I cannot get a wheelchair down there to cross. I've had to stop the traffic like a traffic warden."
Epworth Town Council chairman Don Stewart believes the problem has worsened due to increasing volumes of traffic using the A161, which recently has more heavy goods vehicles passing due to new weight restrictions at Belton.
He said: "The problem is there no matter where you cross.
"You cannot see the red or green lights."
Mr Fish suggested introducing a 10 second time delay on the traffic lights changing along Burnham/Belton Road.
Epworth resident Geoffrey Tonge, 81, said: "I think there ought to be something like a pedestrian crossing maybe a little further back."
A spokesman for North Lincolnshire Council said: "We are looking at whether it is possible to include a pedestrian crossing phase in those traffic lights.
"An officer was on site last week so it is too early to say what will happen."