Hazard warning over shared crossing plan
5:00am Thursday 31st July 2014 in By Dominic Gilbert
PLANS for a new shared space crossing at Ridgeway Farm mimicking the one in place at Regent Circus should be reconsidered according to residents.
The new pedestrain crossing at the Ridgeway Farm village centre would be located next to the new primary school and is expected to see more than 2,000 vehicles passing through during rush hour when completed.
Safety concerns have already been raised during the construction of the raised island pedestrian crossing at Regent Circus, with no obvious right of way or traffic calming measures.
Kevin Fisher, chairman of the Shaw Residents’ Association, said the Ridgeway Farm crossing would be just as hazardous to people in the area.
“The Shaw Resident’s Association wishes to restate its objection to the shared space proposal at the Ridgeway Farm village centre,” he said.
“We are of the opinion that, when applied to junctions with the predicted volumes of traffic expected for this location, the concept and therefore the design is flawed.
“2013 actual traffic volumes suggests this junction will experience 900 vehicles during the morning peak hour, and over 1,200 vehicles during the evening peak hour. It is also reasonable to conclude that, as the Swindon and Wiltshire urban sprawl advances over the coming decades, traffic volumes negotiating this junction will significantly increase.
“As has been demonstrated at Swindon’s Regent Circus shared space, pedestrians will come out second best in terms of priority where right of way is not dictated as with a normal pedestrian crossing, and vehicle numbers are large.
“We believe the merging of so much traffic and pedestrians in a location right next to a primary school is a recipe for traffic chaos or worse. We also believe that, over time, drivers will choose to avoid this junction opting instead to use other, already oversubscribed, rat run routes through Washpool and West Swindon.
“For the above reasons and, because any future redesigns will have to be funded by the public purse, we urge the council to reconsider the ‘shared space’ concept before it is implemented.”
Taylor Wimpey said the design adheres to the vision for the scheme from Wiltshire Council.
A spokesman said: “The shared space proposal for the Ridgeway Farm village centre is a design which we incorporated into our masterplan to adhere to Wiltshire County Coun-cil’s vision for this space.
“The highways layout was designed via a local plan.”
rigorous traffic assessments were carried out to inform the plans.”
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