New road safety measures for Park Gate
Proposals for installing a signal controlled, Toucan crossing for pedestrians and cyclists on the A27 Southampton Road in Park Gate have been given the go ahead by Hampshire County Council.
The facility forms a key part of wider improvements to pedestrian and cycle routes in the area which aim to improve access across the busy A27 and links between local residential areas and Swanwick railway station, the Segensworth business areas and Park Gate Primary School. The crossing will improve the link between homes in Badgers Copse, north of the A27 Southampton Road, and Park Gate Primary School, south of the road, where concerns about the difficulties in getting across the busy A27 have been raised by local people through the school's travel plan.
Councillor Mel Kendal, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said:
"In agreeing the proposal for the Toucan crossing, I have taken into consideration the needs of the whole community. I have personally witnessed the huge volume of traffic using the A27 during the day, and found it difficult trying to cross the A27 at different points near the Botley Road roundabout in Park Gate. Having considered all the options I agree with the findings of the report.
"The County Council has gone to great lengths to look at all possible options to make it easier and safer to cross this road, including the best location for the crossing and investigating alternative solutions suggested to us by the local County Councillor and residents.
"We have also given serious consideration to the case of one resident in particular. These concerns, including those relating to medical conditions have been fully taken into account which is why we have refined the scheme to ensure the traffic lights don't shed unnecessary light into peoples homes. We will be utilising modern directed lighting equipment which will dim at later night, when the need for brightness is less.
"For the benefit of people with a visual impairment, the signals on the crossing will include an audible warning signal or bleeper. In response to concerns about the noise of this we have agreed that the bleeper will be turned off in the evening and overnight, operating only between 7am and 8.30pm, and that the volume will be kept to a minimum, but still effective, level in this busy area.
"Furthermore, safety concerns relating to Hunts Pond Road have been raised. I am pleased to confirm we have arranged for the safety improvement scheme, developed in response to those concerns, to be completed simultaneously with the installation of the Toucan crossing on Southampton Road. Together, the two schemes will combine to create a safer and more inclusive route to the primary school for pedestrians and cyclists travelling from homes north of the A27."
Complementing this scheme is a proposal to extend the existing 30 mph speed limit at the A27/A3051 Botley Road roundabout to a point just east of the A27/Telford Way roundabout.
The cost to provide the Toucan crossing on the A27, together with the wider pedestrian and cycle route improvements, is over £360,000. Work to install the crossing is expected to start in February 2013 and will take about three months to complete.