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Call for crossing at roundabout on busy road

Call for crossing at roundabout on busy road

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:00am 9th February 2020. (Updated at 8:59am 9th February 2020)

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

A councillor who has campaigned for years for improvements to a roundabout he says is an accident blackspot has called on Cornwall Council to install a crossing as a matter of urgency.

Mario Fonk, Cornwall councillor for Gulval and Heamoor, says that works need to be carried out on the Branwell roundabout in Penzance.

He contacted Geoff Brown, the council’s Cabinet member for transport, appealing for him to provide money for the scheme after the council was given £3million by the government for road safety schemes.

Cllr Fonk said that a feasibility report undertaken by the council showed that a pelican crossing could be put in place for £150,000.

He says that this amount of money was “small” compared to the amount of overall funding given to the council and compared to the human cost of accidents.

The Lib Dem councillor said that a site meeting was held at the roundabout two years ago and it was “agreed” that a crossing was “urgently needed”.

Cllr Fonk said: “I have been very concerned about this roundabout, especially regarding pedestrian movement, the layout is very poor and I think  pedestrians’ lives could be at risk. This is an extremely busy roundabout, there has been quite a number of incidents over the years,  we have even had a lady being knocked off her mobility scooter,  we are very lucky that we have not had a fatality.

“This crossing needs to be installed as a matter of urgency, we cannot afford to wait any longer, lives are being put at risk.”

He added: “Constituents are very concerned with regards to the safety for both pedestrians and car motorists  when negotiating the Penzance Tesco’s roundabout. They tell me that it is a hazard for pedestrians, particularly mums with young children, the elderly and disabled people when attempting to cross the busy A30. It is downright dangerous to cross with cars trying to filter into two lanes to get onto the roundabout or coming off it at speed.

“Drivers using the roundabout also experience problems with cars speeding  down the A30 bypass from Long Rock, quite often doing 50 mph or more, when they should only be travelling at 30mph. Some of these drivers race up on the inside of drivers coming off the roundabout and undertake them, this is a very  dangerous manoeuvre.

“The Tesco exit on Branwell Lane is close to the roundabout and is yet another risky area where accidents often happen. People are  extremely concerned that conditions at the roundabout and Tesco’s exit will get even  worse especially during the holiday season.

“I am asking the council to install a pedestrian crossing as a matter of urgency. The cost of preventing road accidents is huge, but more importantly it is the misery that traffic accidents inflict on the injured and bereaved families, this is in my opinion immeasurable.”

Mario Fonk, Cornwall councillor for Gulval and Heamoor

“The Council is committed to making it easier for pedestrians to cross the A30 near Branwell roundabout and will be developing plans for a crossing in the vicinity of the junction once traffic surveys have been carried out later this year.”

Cornwall Council statement

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