Calls to make lollipop crash junction safer

editorial image

CAMPAIGNERS want improvements to a crossing where a Wigan lollipop lady was hit by a car.

But a shortage of funds and logistical problems may count against success, town hall chiefs said today.

Karen Littler was lucky to escape serious injury when a car collided with her at Ashton’s junction between Warrington Road and Gerard Street. And the Community Action Party is pressing highways engineers for improvements to prevent further accidents.

Deputy leader Michael Moulding said: “Although, fortunately, the lollipop lady accident didn’t turn out to be very serious, I think the council needs to look again at the junction.

“I have discussed this issue with a few residents and local businesses who operate at all four corners of the junction and it is our view that what the council has not done enough.

“The junction is a disaster waiting to happen and if the authority believes it is so dangerous to need two crossing patrols for schoolchildren, then why is it different at any other time when the junction is permanently dangerous?”

Mr Moulding said he has support from locals and the landlord of the King’s Arms who are calling for a pelican crossing.

He believes the increased traffic flows and safety issues are hitting local businesses so a pelican crossing, he argued, would therefore have a double benefit.

But the council’s assistant director of infrastructure, Mark Tilley, said: “We are aware there is a desire to see improvements to the pedestrian crossing facilities at this location in Ashton.

“This has been investigated and, unfortunately, is not possible due to the available road space in and around the junction.

“Any improvements would require footways to be widened to accommodate signal equipment which would then result in a narrow carriageway in places.

“This would prevent larger vehicles from safely navigating the junction.”

Mr Tilley said that over the last three years there have been two recorded accidents at the junction including the crossing patrol.

Outside the hours which the school crossing patrol operates there have been no further recorded incidents here involving pedestrians in this timeframe.

He said: “Unfortunately it is not currently viable to introduce full pedestrian facilities at the junction of Gerard Street and Warrington Road. However the council takes pedestrian safety seriously and we will continue to monitor the junction.

“Should it become possible to introduce a solution to the junction constraints, we would then be able to present a scheme that would benefit pedestrians.”