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HEATON LIB DEM COUNCILLORS CONDEMN LABOUR'S CALLOUS CROSSING CUT

October 17, 2011 5:29 PM

North Heaton Lib Dem councillors Greg Stone and Doreen Huddart have hit out at the city council's Labour administration after being advised that a proposed £250,000 scheme to improve safety at the Corner House junction on the Coast Road looks set to be scrapped.

The previous Lib Dem council administration had identified a budget allocation of £250,000 in the city's Local Transport Plan financial programme to improve safety and capacity for pedestrians crossing the busy dual carriageway, at a location which already has a dangerous accident record. However, the Labour administration looks unlikely to honour that commitment.

The crossing is regularly used by Heaton students on their way to and from Heaton Manor school on Newton Road, as well as providing the main link between High Heaton and Heaton Road, and is often crowded and over-capacity at peak times.

North Heaton councillor Greg Stone said "Heaton and High Heaton residents, and particularly parents of Heaton Manor pupils, have long wanted to see safety improved at this crossing. We had hoped to see an expansion of the crossing area to allow pedestrians to cross directly over both lanes, removing the often overcrowded traffic island in the central reservation, and we were delighted that the Lib Dem administration allocated £250,000 for this work in the road safety allocation of the Local Transport Plan budget as recently as this April.

However, in the last few days we have been advised that highways officers are unable to progress this scheme and they have told us that they have not been able to identify solutions which do not adversely affect traffic flow. We are deeply disappointed that the needs of motorists have been put ahead of pedestrian and cyclist safety at a dangerous location, and suspect that solutions could be identified if there was greater political will from the council's leadership. Instead, we fear that the budget allocation for this project has been diverted elsewhere by an administration which clearly does not place significant value on traffic management and road safety, given the pitifully reduced citywide budget allocation they have identified."