Campaigners will fight on to improve road safety

By Tim Clarke Wednesday 23 January 2013 Updated: 24/01 13:43

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Buy photos » The Green Party's Neil Laurenson and Matthew Jenkins presented the Bilford Road petition to councillors in November. Picture by Marcus Mingins 4612033MMR. Order this picture at

CAMPAIGNERS have refused to give up in their efforts to improve safety for pedestrians on a busy stretch of road despite highways bosses saying it was not a priority.

More than 330 residents signed a petition urging the county council to look into ways it could make crossing the Bilford Road near the canal bridge and Costcutter store close to the junction with Astwood Road safer.

It was presented to the council back in November but in a written response to the petition's organisers the council said the junction was not a priority for investment.

The council said there were 'no recorded injury accidents at the location' but campaigners have rejected this and pointed to various crash data websites which highlight a number of incidents including a serious collision in 2011.

Matthew Jenkins, the Green Party's county council spokesman who has led the campaign, described the council's response as "poor" but said they were not about to give up.

"We will continue to campaign on residents' behalf and we hope to get more people involved by reporting things like near misses," he said.

"One of the reasons we started this was because people said they didn't cross the road because it was too dangerous but that won't show up in any statistics. People shouldn't have to live like that."

The area's city councillor Neil Laurenson (Green/St Stephen's) said he remained hopeful the council would eventually investigate safety measures.

"We're not about to give up, we have spent hours collecting signatures and lots of people feel very strongly about this," he added.

Jon Fraser, the council's Highways Manager, confirmed that following speed recording and checks of the injury accident records, there were no plans for additional road safety measures for Bilford Road at present.

"However, the county council is always happy to engage and communicate with residents concerning highways issues, and we will continue to monitor the situation," he added.

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Buy photos» The junction of Bilford Road and Astwood Road is the focus of many residents' concerns. Picture by Nick Hands 5011023NHR

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