October 30 2014 Latest news:
BY RICHARD CORNWELL, Felixstowe editor
Thursday, October 4, 2012
NEW signs are to be put in place at the entrance to Felixstowe’s controversial shared space shopping scheme to try to make the area safer.
■ Marc T: “I have no idea whether I can park there or not – not that I drive there anyway – so I assume everyone else is in the dark too. It seems that shared space means you won’t know what the rules are until you break them.”
■ Tom C: “I find it much more relaxing and easier to walk through the town now, rather than the narrow pavements we used to have when we used to get bowled over by speeding invalid trollies!”
■ Felix: “The idea was good, just not thought through. Cars and people don’t mix well. Ban all cars from the high street and reintroduce proper crossings at either end.”
■ Cara B: “Change is good, but ask a small child where a path is and where a road is and they will know, but in the shared space they won’t, and that is just plain dangerous!”
■ James S: “Children and hard of hearing pedestrians are very much at risk in our Hamilton Road shared space. I have witnessed many near misses and confrontations in this area.”
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There have been persistent complaints from pedestrians that they do not feel safe in Hamilton Road between Boots and Bank Corner, that many vehicles travel faster than 20mph and drivers do not understand that they can only park if they are disabled.
Councillors believe poor signing is one of the reasons for the fears and confusion about the £2.8 million award-winning project.
Signs at the entrance do not specify 20mph – these are on the approach road – and say instead “Restricted zone: no loading”.
Now the signs are to be changed to say “Entering Shared Space” to draw drivers’ attention to the probability that pedestrians will be using the road to walk.
County councillor Graham Newman, of the Felixstowe highways advisory committee, said the signs would have a yellow background with black lettering as this was felt to be the most eye-catching.
“The aim is to address some of the issues which have arisen, some of them as far back as a year ago, particularly at the Hamilton Road-Cobbold Road junction,” he said.
“We are also putting other signs in place and bringing back into use a post for an extra sign outside Carphone Warehouse, which would be very noticeable to vehicles turning from the cinema direction into the shared space.
“We hope it will be much clearer to people that they are entering a different type of road and should be moving more slowly and carefully and the situation should be safer.”