Pedestrian Crossing in Halterworth Lane, Romsey
Response from Hampshire County Council, March 2013
Hampshire County Council uses numerical criteria to provide an objective assessment of the need for a controlled pedestrian crossing such as a Pelican or Puffin crossing at a particular location, based on guidance from the Department for Transport. The underlying principle of this criteria is that crossings will only operate satisfactorily if they are used on a regular basis throughout the day. Thus, if there are few pedestrians for most of the day, drivers may tend to ignore the crossing and put pedestrians at risk on the occasions when they are using the facility. Conversely, if traffic flows are generally low for long periods, pedestrians will cross in the gaps without using the crossing itself. This puts the facility into disrepute and causes unnecessary driver frustration if the Puffin crossing is called and only operates after the pedestrian has crossed.
A number of traffic management measures were identified for the area around the school in conjunction with the development and implementation of the School Travel Plan, with a view to improving the situation at that time. As a result of improved road markings and the staggering of pick up and drop off times the safety situation around the school has improved with vehicle speeds being around 18mph and congestion levels allowing vehicles access but at slower speeds.
Discussions between officers from my Strategic Transport group and the school Headteacher on site in January concluded that the current crossing locations have good visibility and, even without a crossing patrol officer, offer a safe place to cross. However I am aware that a replacement school crossing patrol officer has been appointed and has now taken up duty.
As a result I do not believe that a controlled crossing could be recommended for this location given the number of pedestrians and volumes of traffic outside of the school in and out times. Pedestrian crossing and traffic flow surveys have been organised and carried out recently and have indicated that although there is a level of pedestrian demand for crossing the road, the traffic levels are such that that a controlled crossing cannot be justified.
I trust that the recruitment of a crossing patrol officer will improve the situation and will also write to the police to ask them to provide, from time to time, some suitable reinforcement to the PCSOs with the ability to stop traffic which is not driving with the relevant amount of care.
Councillor Melville Kendal
Executive Member for Environment and Transport