Councillor Supports Campaign for Crossing on Retail Park

Leigh Redman with disabled residents campaigning for a crossing

Eastover’s County Councillor Leigh Redman (Bridgwater North & Central) has been working with disabled Bridgwater residents who are calling for a new crossing to be provided in one of the town’s busiest retail areas. Sally Jones and Sue Wyatt rely on mobility scooters to travel between their homes and the town centre and have launched a campaign for a new zebra crossing over The Leggar, to provide safe access between the Bridgwater retail park  and Sainsbury’s. Leigh Redman  says “As things have grown, the council changed the road layout and opened up The Leggar. The problem you have is the crossing between the Sainsbury’s and the retail park – there isn’t a safe place. Because of how much the road is used now, it puts people in danger.  I fully support a safe crossing point here, and I’ll be doing everything I can. I believe that Sainsbury’s and the retail park would benefit from a safe crossing point, because it would encourage people to move in both directions.”

“Anyone currently wishing to cross the Leggar from the supermarket currently has to use a dropped kerb near the Clink roundabout, relying on the road being clear or drivers being willing to stop” Ms Jones said: “But they’ve put the dropped kerb too close to the roundabout.The other day I came down here – I got beeped at, and I got verbally abused for crossing here. Saturdays are the worst around 5pm, because this road becomes a rat run when Bristol Road is chock-a-block.I’ve got bad shoulders, so if I turn to look one way, they’re whizzing down the other way. You take your life in your hands – I’ve nearly been killed five times. I can’t use the dropped kerbs they’ve put in. They’ve put bollards in, so even if I could use the dropped kerbs, I can’t get the scooter around. To get home, I’ll have to go to Asda and then up Cranleigh Gardens and cross up there.”

Somerset County Council said that a crossing at this location was not built into the initial plans for the retail park, and that the current risk to pedestrians is minimal. A spokesman said: “It appears there wasn’t a need for a crossing to be included at the time (back in the mid-1980s to early-1090s) as there wasn’t a specific need for the public to access the other commercial estate – it was a long time before any retail outlets were sited there. Following the completion of the works, an independent road safety audit was undertaken by Avon Traffic Safety Services on October 15, 2019. The report did not recommend an upgrade of the pedestrian facilities at present. It did, however, recommend that additional signage, informing pedestrians crossing from east to west of the presence of a shared footway/ cycleway on the west side of the link. These have subsequently been installed by the developer.”

Cllr Redman added “The  new unitary council has allocated some one and a half million pounds for schemes such as pedestrian crossings and traffic calming.  “