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Town councillor John Ward slams 'dangerous' new crossing point in Brook Avenue, New Milton

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A NEW ‘informal’ crossing point on a New Milton road was slammed by a town councillor for making it more dangerous for pedestrians.

Cllr John Ward spoke out against the installation at the end of Brook Avenue that runs across Fernhill Lane after it was highlighted by local county councillor Fran Carpenter at a recent full town council meeting.

Arguing it had made the road more dangerous rather than safer, he emphasised the need for ‘slow’ signs to be reinforced and doubled on the highway as soon as possible.

The crossing point at Brook Avenue
The crossing point at Brook Avenue

“Since it’s been put in, traffic has been coming down that road like a tonne of bricks,” Cllr Ward said. “It’s making the situation a damned site worse.

“You think it’s a crossing – it’s no crossing at all.”

Cllr Carpenter disagreed and highlighted praise from a disabled resident who she claimed had found the new pathway easier to use having previously not been able to get over the grass.

Stressing informal crossing points were not the same as zebra crossings, she explained: “The idea of informal crossings is that motorists can see they’re the sort of place where people will cross the road.”

Cllr John Ward
Cllr John Ward

The debate prompted criticism of the length of time HCC’s highways department takes to respond to issues raised about the roads, including safety concerns.

Cllr Geoff Blunden said: “I understand that children’s services take priority for work, but roads are also a priority, with all the potholes causing a hazard for road users.”

Pointing out there is a large backlog of roadworks across the county, Cllr Carpenter explained projects had to be prioritised.

Cllr Fran Carpenter
Cllr Fran Carpenter

But Cllr Blunden argued: “That’s very hard to tell someone when they see a lot of money spent on resurfacing a road that doesn’t have much traffic going over it.”

He added: “I am actually quite pleased with the [Brook Avenue] crossing at Fernhill – but to take four years to get it done is not good.”

Agreeing with Cllr Blunden that the situation was “not good enough”, mayor Cllr Keith Craze said: “Hampshire County Council need to sort out their highways thing.

“I think to travel north up Station Road you need to have a good system of springs in your car.”

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