PEDESTRIANS have been urged to avoid a ‘dangerous’ junction and to use safer walking routes into Malmesbury after an elderly woman died in a road accident last week.

The woman, aged 81, died after she was hit by a car on the A429 while crossing the road at the Blicks Hill junction just outside Malmesbury around 10.15am on Tuesday, November 7. 

She was taken to hospital with serious injuries and despite the best efforts of the emergency services, died during the night.

Both the chair of St Paul Malmesbury Without Parish Council Roger Budgen and Malmesbury mayor Gavin Grant have expressed their sadness at the incident and, although the exact circumstances of the accident are not clear, have highlighted the hazards of the road.

Cllr Budgen said residents in the neighbouring village of Milbourne first expressed concerns about the dangers of this crossing point to Wiltshire Highways nearly 10 years ago. 

He said over the last few years the parish has engaged with Wiltshire Council to explore opportunities to improve pedestrian safety, which has resulted in the marking and signage system which is currently in place on the road.

Cllr Budgen said: “The whole community, including this council but particularly the residents of Milbourne, were truly shocked and saddened to hear about the accident last week. 

“Because of the potential hazards in crossing the A429 a significant number of Milbourne residents expressed concerns about the dangers of this crossing point in 2014 and have engaged with Wiltshire Highways to explore the opportunities for improving pedestrian safety.

“Once all the facts of this most recent incident have been established the council will consider with Wiltshire Highways what further improvements might be made.”

Similarly, Cllr Grant has also expressed his condolences to the woman’s family, and has urged pedestrians to use safer walking routes such as the path which links the Whychurch Farm roundabout to Oxford Street.

He has also encouraged residents to utilise the footpath on the Milbourne side which comes out beside the bypass underpass to join Baskerville junction.

Cllr Grant said: “This was a tragic accident and my heart goes out to the lady who sadly died, and to her family and friends.

“The A429 is a fast road at its junction with Blicks Hill, with a 60mph speed limit. There’s no pavement on either side of the bypass and it is dangerous to cross there on foot.

“We needed a safe walking route from Milbourne to Malmesbury.

“That is why I and my colleagues on the town and parish councils campaigned successfully to get Wiltshire Council to mark a safe pedestrian walking area to link the existing pavements down the hill from the Whychurch Farm roundabout to Oxford Street.

“There is also the footpath on the Milbourne side that comes out beside the bypass underpass to join Baskerville.

“Both will take walkers from Milbourne to Malmesbury more safely.”

Caroline Thomas, cabinet member for transport at Wiltshire Council, said: “We are always very saddened to hear of incidents such as this.

“We don’t currently have any details about this recent fatal collision and are awaiting the results of the police investigation and coroner’s inquest.

“I can confirm that the crossing point was raised through the Local Highway Footway and Improvement Group and in recent years pedestrian warning signs, changes to road markings and coloured surfacing to highlight to motorists the presence of pedestrians have been installed.

“However, in the circumstances it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

Inquires into the incident remain ongoing and officers have asked any witnesses to the crash or anyone who may have dash cam footage to contact the serious collision investigation team on 01225 694597.