Town council in vow to act after residents raise fears over safety of road crossing

Great Dunmow Town Council offices. Picture: GOOGLE

Great Dunmow Town Council offices. Picture: GOOGLE - Credit: Archant

Grave safety concerns over a crossing used by children and cyclists were raised at a Dunmow Town Council meeting.

Some drivers and motorcyclists are going too fast near a crossing over the B1256 which leads to the Flitch Way, councillors were told on Thursday (March 21).

Tony McHugh, who has lived in Dunmow since 2005, said at the meeting: “Cyclists have said ‘do you realise how dangerous that [the crossing] is?’ I believe it is a really serious accident waiting to happen. Cars have no awareness of that crossing whatsoever. If you go at dusk you would never see that crossing at all. I feel you have a duty of care as a town council to improve the safety. The awareness and visibility needs to be addressed.

“I would hate for us to be sat here talking about a serious incident on that crossing. I would hate for us to be looking at a coroner’s report.”

Mr McHugh, who lives in High Meadow, said a cyclist had been narrowly missed by a car that didn’t see him, adding although there is a crossing sign, its visibility was poor.

He said: “When it comes to spring motorbikes come through on a Sunday, some of them are doing 90mph or more. At that speed, if someone’s stepping on to that crossing you couldn’t possibly avoid them.”

Councillor Barrie Easter, town mayor, backed Mr McHugh’s argument, saying: “I live in High Meadow. It is very dangerous. I used that crossing with my dog. Traffic is far too fast.”

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Safety concerns over the crossing were raised two or three years ago, it was established, with councillor Emma Marcus thanking Mr McHugh and telling him: “We are all in agreement with you and it has been raised many times.”

A request to “do something about the situation” has been lodged with the Uttlesford local highways panel, town clerk Caroline Fuller assured Mr McHugh, adding that she had “chased” the panel up several times.

The Uttlesford highways panel is responsible for making recommendations and setting priorities for highway improvements in Uttlesford.

Councillor Susan Barker, county councillor for Dunmow, said she wants to meet with Councillor Kevin Bentley, cabinet member for infrastructure at the county council, and ask him to look at reducing the B1256 speed limit to 50mph. The current limit is 60mph.