A zebra crossing is likely to be installed at the top of Hermitage Street near to a busy mini-roundabout. The proposal to make crossing Hermitage Street/Lyme Road safer for pedestrians, is documented in the Small Improvement Scheme (SIS) which is overseen by the Highways Improvement Scheme Programme (HISP) at Somerset County Council.
Crewkerne Town Council understood that the original design was for a zebra crossing above the existing mini-roundabout, at the bottom of Lyme Road. Councillors were advised that two designs had been submitted and considered and that following a safety audit, the option in Hermitage Street was put forward for consultation. The consultation process closed on July 18th and councillors were invited to make individual comments on the zebra crossing proposal directly to the county council, if they so wished.
Councillor Katy Pritchard commented that taking into consideration parking bays and parallel parking along the busy road, the consultation didn’t take on board the reality of the situation. Councillor Paul Bradly quoted recent statistics that highlight the danger of zebra crossings in rural communities and that the chances are the area could become more dangerous. This was agreed by councillor Andrea Stuart who said: “There have been a number of near misses on other zebra crossings in the local area.” Town Mayor councillor Ben Hodgson, chairing the meeting of the full town council said: “Somerset County Council are looking at it, we are not bound to support it and may choose to offer comments.”
The design, preferred by Highways at Somerset County Council shows kerb lines to be built out to reduce crossing distance, the installation of the mini-roundabout in a new position below the existing one and give-way markings also moved to a new position. Once a scheme has been through the detailed design, safety audit and consultation process, the design can be finalised and it can then be issued for construction.