The safety of pedestrians at a mini-roundabout in Newport has been called into question — but according to a leading councillor, the danger is more a perception than reality.
Asking when the Hunnycross Way junction in Newport would be made safer for pedestrians, a member of the public told the Isle of Wight Council full meeting on Wednesday they find the crossing dangerous, every time they have to use it.
Councillor Ian Ward, the council’s cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, said the junction, which is between Lidl and Sainsbury’s fuel station, and almost underneath the dual carriageway, was not dangerous and would not be upgraded as it was not included in the funding package provided by government for improvements to Newport’s strategic junctions.
“The need to improve safety for pedestrians, using Hunnycross Way, has been revisited and it was found an independent signal-controlled pedestrian crossing cannot safely be installed in the approach.
“I know people do feel it is dangerous but it is more a perception than reality.”
Cllr Andrew Garratt, said the way a person perceives something to be hazardous had an impact on their wellbeing. He said:
“I would have hoped Cllr Ward may have discussed other ways … it allows people to feel safe, their wellbeing is enhanced.”
Cllr Ward argued however where the line would be drawn between balancing reality with perception and said there had been talks of moving the junction further up the road. He said:
“This is council tax payers’ money we are spending on someone’s perception. We are not an administration that wastes money.”
Figures, quoted by Cllr Ward, showed there had only been 1 incident in the last 4 years, and 4 in the last 21 years.
Cllr Matthew Price, however, said the data cannot be relied upon as anyone driving through there between 08:30 and 09:00 would know how dangerous that junction can be. Cllr Price proposed of adding railings around the roundabout edge, to stop people crossing, and install a safe area to cross further up the road, closer to the fuel station.