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Protesters turn up heat in traffic lights plea

Reporter: Robbie MacDonald
Date online: 23 December 2013

CARNATIONS, placards and the sound of car horns signalled a protest calling for changes to a zebra crossing where schoolgirl Annalise Holt died last week.

Children, parents, pedestrians and drivers made their views heard at a demonstration beside Milnrow Road, where the popular 12 year old was fatally hit by a van on Tuesday afternoon. Around 150 campaigners slowed traffic in both directions near St James’s School.

They called for traffic lights where Annalise and her 11-year-old pal were struck. Annalise died later that evening, while the 11-year-old girl remains in hospital.

Pink, red and white carnations were tied to safety fences by the crossing while protesters held up placards with messages such as “Child Safety Before Budgets”, “No Excuses” and “Oldham Council Open Your Eyes”.

Some said that area of Milnrow Road and Crompton Way was confusing for drivers, with turnings for Salts Street, Linney Lane and Edmund Street all nearby.

One or two motorists drove aggressively across the zebra crossing — with one women driver seen sticking her fingers up and shouting at the protesters.

Onlookers gasped at the vehicles which failed to stop — but said it proved their claims about the crossing’s dangers.

Julian Shaw and wife Bev (both 50) said they had a minor accident with a police car at the crossing 18 months ago.

Mr Shaw, originally from Shaw but now living in Littleborough, said: “Bev was driving and put her brakes on when we got to the zebra crossing. But a police car bumped into us from behind. It was only a minor bump but the policewoman who was driving said she did not realise there was crossing here. If the police can’t see the crossing, it must be bad.”

Among the protesters were mum Paula Newton with children Haille Ashton (8) Brandon Wynn (12) and Sophie Wynn (6).

Mrs Newton (43), of Oak Street, Shaw, said: “We’ve had a few close shaves at that crossing over the years. I also saw a woman’s dog killed there by a vehicle.”

Protest organiser Danny Sheppard (46) said: “Annalise’s uncle, Darren Holt, came along to show his support today which we really appreciate.

“We hope to have a meeting with Oldham Council in the new year to see what they have to say.”

More than 4,000 people have signed an online petition calling for changes to the crossing and Oldham Council is looking at the site. Add your name at www.ipetitions.com/petition/install-a-pelican-crossing-on-milnrow-road-shaw.
 

Comments

I agree with the protest, a just cause if ever there was one but must say I am a little concerned as reading the report it gives the impression that the protesters were constantly using the crossing to disrupt the traffic?

Perhaps if the Council had taken a momentary step-back from their ‘We know best!’ attitude, in the aftermath of the first fatality on this crossing, then this tragedy might have been averted.

The paint on this crossing is worn out, to the point that you can barely tell it's there in a photograph. How much more invisible must it be when you're driving on a wet dark evening in winter?
No doubt it will be the easy target of the driver for any accident, and the council will wash it's hands of responsibility and do nothing - again.

It is not a simple matter of putting in a pelican crossing at this junction.
Look at all the pelican crossings in Shaw and you will see that the programmed delay makes the crossings next to useless.
Push the button and wait forever for the lights to change, this makes people take even bigger risks with moving traffic.
Learn to program Oldham Council, and also learn what hysteresis is in this context too.

Shaun: It has been stated that the Council was not even asked to appear at the inquiry into the first fatality. So how could it adopt a 'We know best' attitude? There appears to be too many ill-informed assumptions being presented as facts. That's dangerous and very unhelpful if there is going to be a sensible response to this awful accident.

Alice, The only "sensible response" from the Council, should have been made several years ago.

 

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