New Morecambe zebra crossing “a death trap”

The controversial zebra crossing near the bottom of York Bridge in Morecambe.
The controversial zebra crossing near the bottom of York Bridge in Morecambe.

A new zebra crossing intended to improve road safety has been labelled a “death trap” after a woman was injured in a car crash.

The crossing near the junction of Euston Road and Thornton Road has also been branded “stupid” and in the “world’s worst place” after the incident on Sunday afternoon.

Residents have demanded to know why the crossing was put at the bottom of York Bridge close to a roundabout and some have called for it to be removed - this just days after it opened for public use.

Two ambulances raced to the scene at around 3.30pm on Sunday after a white VW Golf and Ford Fiesta collided near the crossing and a woman in her 20s was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary with minor injuries.

Ellen-Louise Yorke said on our Facebook page that she saw the aftermath of Sunday’s crash.

“My immediate thought was ‘obvious that was going to happen’,” she said.

“Luckily it was not a major crash. Stupid place to put a crossing right in front or behind a roundabout and I don’t even drive.

“There is a perfectly safe place to cross at the top of York Bridge and another a few steps away at the bottom which is patrolled by a lollipop man during school hours.”

Kim Louise Ireland said: “The kids and I have nearly been hit crossing it and we use it daily. I’d rather walk to top of the hill to the island – a bit safer.”

Armes Amanda·said on Facebook:“World’s worst place. Open less than two weeks and already an accident. Get rid of it.”

Dave Sainsbury described it as a “death trap”.

And Eleanor Collins said: “Someone needs to start a petition to get this crossing removed before someone gets killed or badly hurt.”

A worker in a nearby shop, who wished to remain anonymous, told us traffic always speeds up approaching the bridge from Euston Road or Thornton Road and motorists might not see people crossing in the dark.

“I just think it’s stupid...if you come off the roundabout you’re not expecting a crossing that close. It’s always been a controversial corner and it’s always been the case that people speed off down York Bridge like a race track.

“It doesn’t make sense. And have we got that much money to waste?”

Another shop worker said: “When they first started work on it, we actually thought they were having a laugh and it was all a mistake. There are also no ‘proceed with caution - new crossing’ signs.”

Tony Chiarizia, area manager for the franchise owners of the nearby Bargain Booze, said it was “too early” to judge if the crossing would be a success.

“It’s not been in that long,” he said.

“I go on it every day. I’ve not really seen any issue with it. But a lot of residents seem to think a bad accident will happen.”

The zebra crossing was installed over the summer as part of Lancashire County Council traffic calming measures in the area which cost £29,318.

A county council spokesman said: “Many zebra crossings, including this one, are positioned near junctions where we know pedestrians want to cross the road.

“As these are the most convenient places to cross most people will choose to cross at this point whether or not there’s a formal crossing point, and the zebra crossing helps to make it easier and safer to cross. Measures were included as part of this scheme to highlight the crossing to approaching drivers and encourage them to slow down. The kerb-line has been altered to make the road narrower, the street lighting has been improved and there are flashing beacons to highlight the zebra crossing.

“The design and location was safety audited and was also agreed with Lancashire constabulary. The zebra crossing is part of a wider pedestrian and cycle safety scheme following a number of injuries to cyclists at this location and includes the construction of a pedestrian refuge and contraflow cycle lane.”