Saturday, 26 September 2009

‘Danger’ rail bridge safety measures planned

Pedestrians including even young mums with prams are risking life ignoring a footbridge on the Station Road bridge over the main line at the heart of Burry Port.

In an effort to deter people running the gauntlet with traffic over the road bridge, Carmarthenshire County Council transport chiefs, local members and Llanelli’s MP Nia Griffiths, are trying to push through quickly a series of measures to improve safety there if the cash can be found.

County Councillor Pat Jones said: “It is a great worry the numbers of pedestrians including motorised scooters, wheelchairs and pram pushers who ignore the footbridge and risk life and limb crossing on this busy narrow bridge that has no pavement.

“It is reckless, especially as a footbridge is provided alongside.”

County Councillor Stephen Jones said: “This has been an accident waiting to happen and we are delighted to help push improvements through with the support of the MP and Pembrey and
Burry Port Town Council Mayor John Rees.”

The deputation met transport chiefs at the bridge on Wednesday and agreed that pedestrian safety could be improved by providing a raised table crossing point next to the bus interchange.

County head of transport and engineering, Trevor Sage, said: “We would then take up the existing tactile paving and provide a deterrent surface on the west side of the road to deter people from crossing the bridge on the road and encouraging them to use the footbridge provided.

“There was agreement that a similar raised table crossing point should also be provided in Station Road close to Jenkins Bakery on Station Road opposite the bridge.

“We also plan to introduce a loading and unloading ban along the south side of the road there to prevent in-appropriate parking on the approach to the bridge and in the vicinity of the crossing point.”

County executive board member for transport services Cllr Haydn Jones said: “This is clearly a vital scheme for public safety. We are therefore checking to see if we have sufficient funding in this year’s programme now that WAG have agreed to our virement proposals.

“However, if we do not have sufficient funding this year, we will need to include for this in this year’s Safe Routes to the Communities submission to WAG so that we can implement in the early part of 2010-11.

Council transport chiefs are also seeking an update on strengthening the Network Rail bridge that does not meet European standards necessary to carry 40-tomnne vehicles.

Ms Griffith said they would like to see the weight limit increased to a level whereby the small dial a ride bus could cross the bridge to avoid lengthy and detours round the town.


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