Bring on the bollards, say shop safety campaigners

March 03 2018
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PEOPLE in Longwell Green are being urged to sign a petition calling for safety measures following two accidents in which cars mounted the pavement and crashed into an estate agents' window.

As reported in last month's Hanham and Longwell Green Voice, staff from Blue Sky in Ellacombe Road were left shaken after a blue Volkswagen estate mounted the pavement and careered into the window at 10.15am on Saturday January 27.

It followed a similar accident back in July when a red Toyota Auris drove into the window of the same business.

Although no one was hurt, staff along the rank say they want to see safety bollards put up to stop this happening again.

South Gloucestershire Council has visited the site and agreed to place bollards along the pavement - but is unable to commit to a time scale or even give assurances it will definitely happen due to other priorities.

Now staff from Blue Sky, who are supported by other traders along the rank of shops, have launched an online petition because they say the safety measures should be made a priority, especially as many pupils from Longwell Green Primary School use the pavement every day.

Blue Sky company director Juliette Maytham said a council engineer had already visited the site: "The council are proposing that bollards are installed to the rear of every parking bay and an additional bollard at the end of the pavement near the school to restrict parking on the pavement around the school. 

"However, they have confirmed that the proposal will be put forward for the 2019/20 budget and even then it will be point scored against their objectives at that time and if it doesn’t score highly enough it won’t be done."

It is hoped that if enough people sign the petition, which already has more than 100 signatures, the council will be spurred into acting sooner rather than later.

The petition states: "This footpath is very busy especially during the morning school run and at pick up times. If this had happened during these hours I have no doubt in my mind that this accident could have resulted in serious injury or even death. 

"The council have been to assess the situation and have said that the budget for 2018/19 has been distributed and that it would be considered for 2019/20 although it would be done on a point scoring system and would still not guarantee it would be granted. 

"We feel this is something that needs to be raised as priority as this is for the safety of the local community. We would hope everyone would sign this petition so we can have this looked at as a matter of urgency before another incident occurs and we are not as lucky as the two previous occasions."

Miss Maytham said: "We've had quite a few residents and parents from the school popping into the office to share their concerns about the safety of pedestrians. There seems to be a lot of local support for the bollards.The crashes were pretty full on. It's happened twice now - what's the point in risking it happen again for the cost of some bollards?"

Greg Hammick, who runs Express Property Services in the rank, said: "They were both unfortunate accidents, and almost unpredictable as you can't really account for someone losing control of their car and coming up onto the pavement. 

"Once the first accident happened the council should have been looking to put bollards in place but now the second accident has happened there absolutely must be something put in place."

Longwell Green Primary School is supporting the petition and has been in touch with the council to express concerns about the safety of pupils.

Sue Dix, the school's business manager, said: "We were aware of the incident. I contacted South Gloucestershire independently as we are concerned that if an incident like that happens at school coming in or going out times, it could be really dangerous as a lot of children use that path.

"We have put something in the school newsletter for parents so they can go on to the e-petition that Blue Sky set up. 

"The feeling is that the more people that sign the petition, the more likely it could be that the date is brought forward."

The council has ordered a new sign to replace the limited waiting parking sign that was lost during the recent collision and is arranging for the faded parking bay markings to be refreshed.

To sign the petition, please visit http://petitions.southglos.gov.uk/petitions.ti/ellacomberoad