No permission was given for ‘death trap’ zebra crossing
SHOCK has been voiced that a ‘dangerous’ zebra crossing in Oban has no official planning permission - and conversations between council officers and the applicant were never recorded.
One local councillor lives less than 20 metres from the crossing, planning officers work less than 300 metres from the location and it is on the main carriageway through the town
Traffic volumes are very high at certain times”
– yet not one person stopped the crossing being installed.
The crossing near Lidl on the Soroba Road is now being described as a ‘death trap’.
Drivers and pedestrians want to know what is going to be done about the zebra crossing before a serious accident happens.
In what appears to be a planning blunder, supermarket owner Lidl was under the impression it had permission to build the crossing, However, Argyll and Bute Council officials believed it had authorised Lidl to apply for permission but had not given consent for it to be completed.
It was not until a Benderloch driver brought the matter to the attention of the authorities that it came to light there had been no public consultation and no decision by the councillors to allow the crossing to go ahead.
The man who raised the issue does not want to be named, but laid out the problem. He explained: ‘Traffic volumes are very high at certain times on Soroba Road and there are a considerable number of points of entry and exit in the immediate vicinity of the crossing.
‘When road users are opting to enter or leave some of the many points at busier times, the scene could fairly be described as demanding. Failing to take cognisance of pedestrians waiting to enter or even already on the new zebra crossing could, in such circumstances, be a possibility.
‘The prominent signs for the supermarket on one side and the filling station on the other can result in the small flashing beacons becoming almost invisible during daylight hours.
‘It may be worth examining how this additional demand is managed by vulnerable road users – they are summarised as tourists, older drivers, young or inexperienced drivers and motorcyclists.’
The man continued: ‘Some of my friends are already reporting almost daily incidents on the crossing. A few are very close shaves. It is an accident waiting to happen. It is a death trap.’
A Freedom of Information request to Argyll and Bute Council stated: ‘ The council officer who liaised with Lidl prior to the installation of this crossing has retired and we are unable to locate any recorded information within our records which confirms that such an assessment was carried out.
‘No skid-resistant surfacing was installed by Lidl and the council has no plans to install skid-resistant surfacing at this time. However, the number of skid-related accidents which occur will be monitored.’
A spokesman for Lidl said: ‘Having spoken to our property team on the zebra crossing, they confirm that all highway works were carried out with the relevant approvals in place from the council. I can confirm that the work was carried out after we received approval from the council.’
A spokesman for Argyll and Bute Council said: ‘ Lidl was given permission to install the zebra crossing to the specifications supplied. There was no requirement for skid-resistant surfacing as this is a 30mph zone. We have no reason to believe there is an issue with the crossing.
‘However, on the basis of information we have received, we will carry out an assessment to ensure there are no unanticipated safety issues.’
Opinion: page six.
The zebra crossing is close to the junction with Sinclair Drive, a busy filling station and a major supermarket.