Residents urged to express views over Essex danger crossing

RESIDENTS and visitors to Newport are being invited to have their say on road safety in the village.

Getting better safety measures in place has been an ongoing issue in Newport but has really come to the boil in recent weeks after a Newport Free Grammar School pupil was knocked down outside the school gates by a delivery van while trying to cross Cambridge Road.

The Reporter received dozens of letters – some printed in last week’s paper – from residents who have experienced their own problems with the village roads. Concerns were particularly raised about the lack of activity in providing a new crossing or suitable alternative.

The latest scheme, to install a pelican crossing close by the school in Cambridge Road, has stalled due the presence of a BT junction box in the preferred location. BT want almost �250,000 to move it.

However, chairman of Newport Parish Council, Cllr Andrew Yarwood, stressed that the scheme is top priority.

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He said: “I regret that it does take an extremely long time to put measures in place. My view, and that of the parish council, is that the delays in building this crossing are just not acceptable.”

He was also keen to point out that a lot of work has gone into improving road safety in the village.

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“The council is working on a number of plans for Newport to make this a safer place for all pedestrians,” he said.

“I took plans for a wide range of traffic related plans to be the key point of the annual parish meeting three years ago.

“Since that time the council created a sub committee to deal with driving through those initiatives, the most visible sorted out being the 20mph zones near both the village schools.”

He added: “Some measures that get put in may not be universally popular but, as traffic increases, as does drivers speed within built up areas, innovative measures are necessary.”

County councillor for Newport, Cllr Ray Gooding, agreed. He said: “Getting a crossing in place is long overdue. There have been difficulties but I am in the process of pushing this forward because it is absolutely necessary.”

Essex Highways senior traffic manager for the Uttlesford area, Chris Stoneham, previously told the Reporter that installing a crossing outside the grammar school is a “priority” and that the aim is to complete the scheme this year.

Any resident or visitor to the village wanting to express their views or to assist the parish council’s work should write to Cllr Yarwood c/o Newport Parish Council, 24 High Street, Newport, Essex CB11 3PH.

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