Campaign for a zebra crossing in Kimberley

Councillor Richard Robinson at the junction of Maws Lane with Hardy Street in Kimberley.
Councillor Richard Robinson at the junction of Maws Lane with Hardy Street in Kimberley.

A Kimberley councillor is launching a campaign to get a zebra crossing at a busy junction in Kimberley.

Richard Robinson has been bombarded with complaints and concerns about Nine Corners, and says something must be done to make the road safer.

“So many people try and cross the road either to get to playgroups or Scouts at Kettlebrook Lodge, Holy Trinity Church and of course to then cross back and walk up to Hardy Street and experience many difficulties.

“People have asked about a zebra crossing in the area because of the amount of people who try to get from one end of Kimberley to another and it’s a nightmare.

“A lot of people have contacted me about this and it’s a problem that’s not going to go away.

“Something needs to be done so I am going to launch a major campaign in January to improve it,” he said.

Coun Robinson said residents contacted him with concerns about it eight years ago, but he said the problem is now even worse due to the increase in housing.

“Because of the increased housing in Hardy Street it has exacerbated the situation.

The councillor plans to send 200 letters out to nearby residents in the new year.

“I am going to write to everybody in that area who it affects, get peoples support and launch a petition for the county coucil to get this sorted,” he said.

Nine Corners is where the bottom of Hardy Street meets Main Street.

A resident who lives in Dorchester Road who did not want to be named said: “I cross it two or three times a day and it’s very difficult. Traffic comes at a very high speed around the bend.

“There’s also the kids who get off the school bus each day and have to cross the road into Hardy Street and that’s such a worry.”

The chair person of the Kimberley Parent and Toddler Group said she felt like she was taking her life into her own hands when she crossed the road.

Ros Broker, chair of the group at Kettlebrook Lodge, said: “It definitely needs something there.

“Theres the two playgroups and the church opposite and it’s a really big road to get across.

“The amount of times I have stood there waiting with my children, I felt like I could have dug a tunnel.

“I always feel like I am taking my life into my own hands.”

But Ms Broker said she was unsure about what safety measures could be implemented.

“We need something but I don’t know what. I’m not sure where you would put a zebra crossing.

“Perhaps a little island in the middle of the road?”

Toddler group manager Sue Joy said children had to cross the road daily and it was ‘terrible’.

“It’s a blind corner. You can’t actually see the cars coming at all.

“It’s terrible,” she said.

“Parents always say the road is dangerous.

“You have to either go towards Kimberley to cross or walk up towards the caravans because the road is too wide inbetween to get across.

“With children you wouldn’t get across the road in the middle.

“I’m not sure where a crossing would work though.

“Perhaps opposite the caravan park or further up round the bend towards Kimberley?

“I don’t think it wouldn’t be safe to have it anywhere else,” added Ms Joy.

Kimberley’s parish priest Barbara Holbrook said it was only a matter of time before somebody was seriously hurt.

Revd Holbrook said there were between seven and eight ‘shunts and bumps’ at the junction last year alone and in one accident a car had to have its roof cut off.

“It’s a very wide piece of road that is very poorly defined so it’s very hard to cross safely.

“People are crossing all the time to get to the bus stop aand the Scouts and so on and cars come around the corner really fast because thyey don’t realise how tight it is.

“As far as I know nobody has been seriously hurt as of yet but it’s only a matter of time,” she said.