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Crossing bid victory ... only 20 years late
A CROSSING island will finally be installed on Kingshill this summer following a 20-year campaign by residents and councillors.
Campaigners who completed their own survey to show the needsaid the pedestrian refuge would help people get safely across the busy road and also help slow down traffic.
Swindon Council has now agreed to install the £6,000 pedestrian refuge after a temporary crossing proved a success earlier this year.
Coun Dave Wood (Lib Dem, Eastcott), who lobbied the highways department on the issue, said: “It’s just brilliant – it really is. A safe crossing on Kingshill is something people have been campaigning for for about two decades and it’s the first major success in that process.
“And I have spoken to a lot of people over the last month and they’re really, really pleased this is coming into place .
“It just seems to have really buoyed the community. It will make a big difference to a lot of people.
“A lot of people I have spoken to wouldn’t normally cross Kingshill because they don’t feel safe crossing it, they hop into their cars instead.
“But now there’s going to be a crossing island so they can make that crossing safer.
“And a lot of children and elderly people cross Kingshill Road, – it will make a big difference to them.”
Coun Wood said Swindon Council assessed the eligibility of the proposal in the late 1990s and in 1998 but it did not score highly.
However, officers’ minds were changed when group of residents and councillors conducted their own survey in July 2011, which showed the number of people crossing at peak times had rocketed.
A temporary island was installed earlier this year just below the junction with Clifton Street, mainly to test that larger vehicles could pass safely. The permanent crossing will be slightly further downhill, about 30 yards up from the Bowood Road junction.
Joan Mortimer, 66, a member of the Kingshill Area Residents’ Association, who helped with the community survey, said: “Everyone I have spoken to has been thrilled with the idea of the crossing island.
“Even those people who wouldn’t necessarily need to get across Kingshill know how difficult it is for those people who need to, and are delighted that this facility is being provided.”