Calls for safety renewed following three near misses

PUBLISHED: 17:22 13 August 2014

Access Walden members outside Uttlesford District Council

Access Walden members outside Uttlesford District Council

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Three near misses on a dangerous road have led campaigners to reiterate the importance of a safe pedestrian and cycle path.

The incidents on Wenden Road, Saffron Walden occurred between July 20 and August 5 and have been made public to support Access Walden’s case for improved safety measures.

Essex County Council is currently consulting on a proposal which includes a short one-way section with segregated facilities for walkers and cyclists on the north-eastern part of the route nearest to the town.

Access Walden member James Savage, a regular cycling commuter to Audley End, said he was almost clipped by a car on the evening of August 5. The driver had to swerve back to the correct side of the road after attempting to overtake and being greeted by a vehicle coming in the other direction.

Mr Savage said: “It was scary and dangerous and the margin of error for the driver to have either clipped me or hit the car in front was very small.

“It was an irresponsible, dangerous piece of driving by an impatient driver that endangered their life, that of the driver of the oncoming vehicle and mine.

“One day I or someone else is going to suffer life-changing injuries or be killed.”

Tim Levine, who lives in town, was cycling back from Audley End train station at 8pm on July 20 when a bus driver tried to overtake him on a blind bend and accelerated around it on the wrong side of the road.

“Fortunately, no vehicles were met on the other side of the road,” said Mr Levine. “Had there been, this would have no doubt been a very different and more sinister account.”

A third incident, on July 31 at 6pm, involved a pedestrian who had to jump onto a grass verge to avoid potentially being hit by a speeding car.

The public is still being invited to comment on the proposed scheme, expected to cost in the region of £200,000, by emailing majorschemes@essex.gov.uk or calling 0845 6037631.

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