Driffield News

Plea to install safety measures at busy town centre junction

A Driffield resident has told the Wolds Weekly of his fears that a pedestrian could be seriously injured – or worse – if safety measures are not brought in to prevent vehicles driving onto the footpath at the junction of Market Place and Exchange Street.

Dennis Magee explained how his wife, Sue, would have been hit by a car that cut the corner as it travelled from Market Place into Exchange Street had it not been for his sharp reactions that saw him pull her away from the kerbside.

This is not the only time Mr Magee has seen the dangerous manoeuvres by any stretch.

If you put something in the way, the motorists won’t go anywhere near the path as they won’t want to damage their cars.

dennis magee

He believes that a large proportion of vehicles travel over the footpath at the junction and he’s now concerned that there will be an injury or fatality.

Of particular concern to Mr Magee are the number of schoolchildren who are often crossing at the junction in large groups which overhang the road.

He’s now urging East Riding of Yorkshire Council to acknowledge his concerns – eight years after he first raised it with them – and provide a safety structure at the junction.

“Several years ago, I was waiting at the side of road on Exchange Street until it was safe to cross,” said Mr Magee.

“Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a car turning from Market Place and I could see that it was going to cut across where my wife, Sue, was standing.

“I had to pull her back to stop her from getting hit as the car was so far over the path.

“If you go and stand up there and watch every car, you will see that it’s a high proportion of them that do it.

“One day, it will be a child or an adult that gets hit and it will cause so much heartache for all involved. There has already been a fatality at the junction during the early 1990s.

“The schoolchildren often stand in large groups overhanging the footpath, but it doesn’t seem to deter the motorists. Further down the road, on the corner of Mill Street and Westgate, there is a bollard to stop cars driving onto the footpath.

“If you put something in the way, the motorists won’t go anywhere near the path as they won’t want to damage their cars.

“In all its history, Driffield has never had its roads upgraded but maybe now it’s the right time to get rid of the Victorian network and make them appropriate for modern traffic.

“I don’t know how Aldi will manage if they do build a new store on the Cattle Market.

“I emailed East Riding of Yorkshire Council with my concerns, but I haven’t heard a thing from them.
“Surely, there should be at least some form of reply to acknowledge my email? I’m not trying to judge anyone, but someone isn’t doing their job properly as far as I am concerned.”

Addressing Mr Magee’s concerns, a spokesman for East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “While we sympathise with this gentleman’s concerns, our records show this junction has an excellent safety record.

“The tragic incident mentioned, happened in 1994, but there have been a number of road safety measures introduced in Market Place since then which have helped to slow traffic down.

“This site already has traffic lights and a controlled pedestrian crossing, which a large number of people and vehicles use successfully every day.

“The footpaths at this site are narrow and don’t allow room for guardrails or bollards. These don’t necessarily improve safety anyway; they can impede visually impaired people and don’t leave enough room for wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

“Anyone seen driving over the footpath is doing so illegally and should be reported to the police.

“Please be assured, our road safety engineers work closely with the police and partner agencies to monitor the safety of all our roads and we will intervene when needed.”

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