CAMPAIGNERS have called for a major rethink over the introduction of a controversial road safety scheme in a market town.
Work on the £55,000 scheme for Ashby’s Market Street is due to start next month but shoppers, traders and civic groups continue to voice their opposition saying that scheme will not improve safety and will turn people away from the area.
Leicestershire County Council’s cabinet agreed to introduce a raft of measures last year and say that the works will take just under a month to complete, which opponents say is likely to be twice as long as people attempt to get their heads around the new scheme.
A county council spokesman said: “The work is now due to start during the first week in March and will take approximately three weeks.
“We will aim to keep disruption to a minimum.”
The authority said the scheme was designed to reduce the number of people injured in road accidents, particularly pedestrians, and improve parking and loading facilities.
The proposed scheme followed a safety review which found 13 people – including seven pedestrians – were injured between 2006 and December 2010.
Christine Roberts, 77, from Ashby, died after being hit by a lorry while crossing the road.
Changes will include narrowing the road, creating pedestrian refuges, introducing a 20mph speed limit and improving parking.
“It will be a disaster,” said Betty Vos, of Ashby Civic Society. “It’s a ridiculous scheme.
“We believe it to be a very negative move which will put off shoppers and hit trade.”
“The plan is supposed to make the roadway safer for pedestrians but the inclusion of refuges will encourage pedestrians to cross other than at pelican crossings.”