Res­i­dents’ safety fears over con­tro­ver­sial plans to pull down Rhubarb Bridge

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Joel Lamy joel.lamy@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy

Safety con­cerns have been raised af­ter the re­place­ment for Rhubarb Bridge was re­vealed for the first time yes­ter­day.

Plans un­veiled by Peter­bor­ough

City Coun­cil showed a se­ries of Tou­can cross­ings will be in­stalled at the round­about sep­a­rat­ing Lin­coln Road (by Brother­hood Re­tail Park) and Bourges Boule­vard, in­clud­ing on the A47 slip roads, with ex­tra lanes put in for mo­torists.

How­ever, Matthew Barber, head of part­ner­ships (Mid­lands and East) at sus­tain­able trans­port char­ity Sus­trans, be­lieves pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists might try to jump the cross­ings be­fore the green man is show­ing due to long wait­ing times.

He said: “Rhubarb Bridge is a gate­way to the north of the city. But go­ing from Marks And Spencer in Brother­hoods to PC World on the other side will now in­volve four pedes­trian crosses.

“If there are many de­lays then peo­ple, es­pe­cially chil­dren, will try and find gaps in the traf­fic. It’s chil­dren I’m most con­cerned about. If they are rush­ing to school and the wait­ing times are too long they will try and find the gaps.”

Mr Barber said the £5.5 mil­lion scheme at Junc­tion 18 of the A47/A15 round­about pri­ori­tises mo­torists over cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans.

Coun­cil cab­i­net mem­ber Cllr Peter Hiller said Rhubarb Bridge had come to “the end of its life.” He added that the new scheme will im­prove traf­fic flow and ac­ces­si­bil­ity for all users.

How­ever, Labour group leader Cllr Ed Mur­phy said he will be urg­ing mem­bers of a coun­cil scru­tiny com­mit­tee to call-in the de­ci­sion to progress the scheme due to a lack of con­sul­ta­tion and be­cause “al­ter­na­tives have not been ex­plored.”

Lib­eral Demo­crat group Cllr Nick Sand­ford also hit out at the coun­cil for not con­sult­ing ear­lier.

The plans were un­veiled to the pub­lic yes­ter­day at the Sal­va­tion Army Ci­tadel in Bourges Boule­vard, with peo­ple queu­ing to get in. The fi­nal plans will be re­vealed in Septem­ber and works will be­gin this fi­nan­cial year.

Lib­eral Demo­crat city coun­cil­lor Dar­ren Fower ques­tioned why the coun­cil is not do­ing more to re­duce the re­liance on cars.

A coun­cil spokesman said safety and ac­ces­si­bil­ity are “para­mount con­sid­er­a­tions” with con­cerns an­swered dur­ing meet­ings with key stake­hold­ers and the pub­lic.

“If there are many de­lays then peo­ple will try and find gaps in the traf­fic.” Matthew Barber £18m Mil­len­nium Bridge, Lon­don £11m Me­dia City Foot­bridge, Sal­ford £15m In­fin­ity Bridge, Stock­ton-on-Tees £32m Wal­ton Bridge, Sur­rey £37m Twin Sails Bridge, Dorset £14m Peace Bridge, Derry

The plans to re­place Rhubarb Bridge with a se­ries of cross­ings Ex­ist­ing foot­way to re­main Pro­posed 3m foot cy­cle­way Pro­posed 2.1m foot­way Pro­posed car­riage­way resur­fac­ing

Pro­posed Tou­can cross­ing with droppped kerbs and tac­tile paving Pro­posed car­riage­way widen­ing

Ex­ist­ing foot­way cy­cle­way to be resur­faced

Pro­posed main­te­nace hard-stand­ing Pro­posed tac­tile paving

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