Last night a road crew painted the lines onto the shiny new zebra crossing that will make a hazardous corner of our neighbourhood much, much safer.
About two and a half years ago, in early 2019, I began knocking on doors in the area. I wanted to introduce myself as the Labour party candidate and to hear about things that concerned local people. In the area around Alma Place, Waterloo Place and Cleveland Road parents told me how tricky they found it crossing Preston Road in the morning on their route to school. There was a really strong feeling that something needed to be done. Some told me that a zebra crossing had been mooted, but they didn’t know whether that was a serious idea or just a rumour. I made a promise that I would take the issue on as a priority and try to get it sorted. It became the top item in my in tray following my election in May of 2019.
So, I was thrilled this morning, to see that the work had finally been completed. What a pleasure it was to see local kids finally crossing the road safely. I never expected it to take two years, but the perseverence has finally paid off!
To be honest it has been frustrating. Despite overwhelming local support there were a very small number of objections to the scheme that held it up. We also needed a bit of back and forth with council officers about the design, to minimise the loss of parking spaces for neighbouring properties (only one lost in the end). Believe it or not we even needed a change in the council’s constitution (something called the ‘delegation scheme’) so that the decision to approve the crossing could be made by the relevant cabinet member. A final blow came this January, which was when we had expected the work to start, only to hear the Highways Department had spent all its budget, meaning the job was pushed into the new financial year.
At the end of the day though, all that hassle has ultimately been worth it. Our community is a safer place and that’s what really matters.