Monday, 24 March 2008

No waiting restriction - for improved road safety

Let's revisit the school crossing I posted about back in November. This picture of the location on Whalley New Road, Blackburn, is looking the opposite way to the sequence of photos in my post highlighting the danger posed by lines of parked cars.

It seems I'm not the only one with concern over the increase in parking around there. You can see in the vicinity of the school crossing, vehicles parked on both sides of the road, some of them parked on the pavement (side walk). This is of great concern to users of the school crossing and as a result the crossing patrol service have made representation to Blackburn with Darwen council to improve the situation.

Capita Symonds, who run the highways department on behalf of Blackburn with Darwen borough council, proposed to the Planning and Highways committee that a waiting restriction be placed on both sides of the road between 08:30-09:30 and 15:00-16:30. The result from the council meeting on the 17th January is a proposal for only the south west side of Whalley New road have the restriction placed on it. That's the left of the picture.

To me, it appears illogical, if the principle has been agreed to improve safety at the crossing, that only half the measure is implemented. It is no coincidence that both pedestrians and cyclists feel there is danger at these concealed junctions and crossings, and the highways department have proposed doing something about it. Why then are the council against implementing it? Is it because the local residents will object?

Queries regarding the traffic regulation order can be made to Capita Symonds, 01254 273393. Written objections to the order can be sent to Linda Comstive, Director of Legal Services, Town Hall, Blackburn, BB1 7DY, to be received before next Friday, 28th March.

Parking in junctions

One of the other items on the agenda for the same meeting resulted in a traffic regulation order for Parsonage Road to put double yellow lines at the junction with Brownhill Road. These would not be required if motorists obeyed Highway Code rule 243, which states "DO NOT stop or park opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space". Whilst not a legal requirement covered by legislation, drivers breaking this rule could end up in trouble if an accident occurs as a result of their parking.

"Although failure to comply with the other rules of the Code will not, in itself, cause a person to be prosecuted, The Highway Code may be used in evidence in any court proceedings under the Traffic Acts (see 'The road user and the law') to establish liability. This includes rules which use advisory wording such as ‘should/should not’ or ‘do/do not’."

These consequences are not a sufficient deterrent, so we have to have more yellow stripes on the road. Ho hum.

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