Cross­ing must be worry for par­ents

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Opinion -

SHARED road space has worked har­mo­niously in Ash­ford for a long time be­fore the “rev­o­lu­tion­ary” con­cept was ap­plied to the for­mer ring road. The shared space in New Rents and ad­join­ing roads has worked be­cause pedes­tri­ans as­sume pri­or­ity. Mo­torists recog­nise this and drive ac­cord­ingly. In El­wick Road and Bank Street, the con­cept of ve­hi­cles and pedes­tri­ans hav­ing equal rights to the same space has yet to be proved. In those ar­eas, pedes­tri­ans still walk on the pave­ments and mo­torists keep to the roads. There­fore it is not sur­pris­ing that there have been no re­ported in­ci­dents of in­jury. Pedes­tri­ans feel vul­ner­a­ble and don’t tempt fate by walk­ing in the road. The per­son to be lauded is not the ar­chi­tect of the shared space con­cept but the per­son who, years ago, came up with the idea of pedes­trian precincts. Keep­ing mo­torists and pedes­tri­ans apart has stood the test of time. The ini­tial bar­rage of com­plaints from mo­torists and pedes­tri­ans about the con­trolled cross­ings along the ring road has fallen si­lent. Why? Mo­torists have had no al­ter­na­tive but to ac­cept the long de­lays. But pedes­tri­ans are so frus­trated by the sys­tem that they tend to ig­nore the sig­nals and use their judge­ment as to when it is safe to cross. That is fine for most peo­ple. But it must be wor­ry­ing for young par­ents try­ing to teach their chil­dren that it is not safe to cross un­til the green man sym­bol ap­pears.

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