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Long awaited crossing to improve safety of pedestrians and cyclists suffers another delay

PUBLISHED: 09:19 07 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:30 07 May 2018

George Westwood Way, Beccles.
Picture: Nick Butcher

George Westwood Way, Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Work to install a long awaited crossing which will improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists in Beccles has been postponed – one day before work was due to start.

George Westwood Way, Beccles.
Picture: Nick ButcherGeorge Westwood Way, Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher

While construction of a toucan crossing on George Westwood Way was scheduled to begin last Monday it has now been delayed to the autumn.

The crossing will be situated a few metres away from the existing mini roundabout at the bottom of Station Road and will provide safe passage to the train station and common amid the constant stream of busy traffic.

A Suffolk Highways spokesperson said the planned work has been postponed due to “concerns about the proposed traffic management arrangements and potential disruption which could be caused by a clash with the Beccles Relief Road works on the A145”.

They added: “Carrying out the works later in the year will take advantage of lower traffic volumes once the new relief road is open and avoid the summer major works embargo in the area.”

The design for the new toucan crossing which will be installed on George Westwood Way in Beccles. Picture: Suffolk County Council.The design for the new toucan crossing which will be installed on George Westwood Way in Beccles. Picture: Suffolk County Council.

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, town councillor and Suffolk county councillor for Beccles, said she understood the reasons behind the delay but found the short notice “annoying.”

She said: “It is incredibly disappointing to have this news with only one days notice before works were due to begin.

“We have been waiting for the crossing for seven years and experienced continued delays and changing plans.

“The start date was important to people who use it every day as there was a fear from residents it wouldn’t happen.”

George Westwood Way, Beccles.
Picture: Nick ButcherGeorge Westwood Way, Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher

However, Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw is “confident” the crossing will go ahead in the autumn.

She added: “Suffolk County Council are 100pc behind it.”

The councillor, who also lives in the town, explained the crossing is vitally important and the a major talking point amongst residents.

She said: “George Westwood Way cuts off access to the common. Without the crossing it is incredibly dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.

“There is not much provision for pedestrians in that area, it would be easy for drivers to think it is not regularly used by pedestrians.

“Drivers may not understand but the infrastructure will make it clear.”

The crossing will include traffic lights and is being funded through Section 106 developer contribution money put aside when Tesco supermarket was built.

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