Reader's Letter: An accident waiting to happen

Recently, and not for the first time, I was almost knocked down by a car when I was in the middle of a particular Pelican crossing in Wilmslow. I use this crossing a couple of times most days as I walk into and return from Wilmslow's town centre.

The crossing is an accident waiting to happen because of its badly positioned location at the top of Bedells Lane, a few feet before it bisects Chapel Lane and becomes Hawthorn Street.

My first brush with serious injury happened last summer in broad daylight. The driver of a vehicle travelling from Hawthorn Street failed to observe that oncoming traffic from Bedells Lane had stopped at the pelican crossing to allow me to cross.

He also failed to see me crossing. The car, a convertible, passed so close to me I could have reached out and touched the driver.

The latest near miss took place on Friday, 6th January. It was 4.30pm and daylight had faded into twilight. I waited at the crossing until a car coming up Bedells Lane stopped to allow me to cross. Mindful of what had happened to me previously, I checked for traffic from Hawthorn Street before setting foot on the crossing. There was a car approaching, but it was some distance away, allowing me adequate time to cross.

Half way across, I realised the oncoming car was bearing down on me at excessive speed, but my instincts told me that the driver had seen me and the car would slow down to allow me to complete the crossing. I was wrong. When I realised I could not reach the safety of the pavement a few feet ahead, I took a step backwards into the middle of the road and the car, travelling well above the speed limit, narrowly missed me.

Visibility was murky, but surely the driver must have seen me on the Pelican crossing. Then I saw that not only was neither of the two orange beacons flashing, they were not even lit.

Had the absence of a statutory visible warning been a contributory factor in my near miss?

I called 101 and told a polite policeman what had happened. He took my personal details, and assured me that something would be done about the beacons, and they would look into the overall safety of the crossing.

Today is Tuesday, 24th January. I've heard nothing from the police and the flashing orange beacons are still not working.

Welcome to the Golden Triangle.

Reader's Letter


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Bob Bracegirdle
Tuesday 24th January 2017 at 5:15 pm
That is ridiculous. From the photo it is clear that the road markings are quite worn too. The layout was better 50 years ago when Chapel Lane was the main road and all traffic on Bedells Lane and Hawthorn Street (formerly Pepper Street) were expected to stop.
Gordon Massey
Thursday 26th January 2017 at 1:37 pm
The position of the crossing is very poorly positioned, the fixing of the beacons should be sorted without question, however this crossing needs to have lighting as at night you can struggle seeing approaching pedestrians, drivers must slow down approaching this crossing. The whole crossing requires review urgently.
Alan Brough
Thursday 26th January 2017 at 2:40 pm
I took the above photo (second photo) at approx. 0830 this morning. The builders van does nothing to help the situation!
Bob Bracegirdle
Monday 30th January 2017 at 9:49 am
The van driver should be prosecuted. Within the zig zag lines obscuring view of crossing AND on the pavement.

Knowing the official comments where I live I understand there has to be a fatality before anything is done.
Gordon Massey
Tuesday 7th February 2017 at 1:42 pm
Nice too see that neither the council or the highways are not interested in people's comments or the fact that the crossing is not fully operational and dangerous for pedestrians, no surprise there! Risk assessment, health and safety, even not fit for purpose. If it was something to do with a council building it would be done straight away, I wonder why.