Concerns but few answers over Northampton building site's 'dangerous' pedestrian crossing

Concerns have been raised about a 'dangerous' pedestrian crossing in Northampton caused by a building site - but the developers claim there is nothing more they can do.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 6:53 am
Cllr Jane Birch by the development on Stanhope Road, Kingsthorpe, Northampton

Motorists, walkers and a councillor are worried about the way a building site has taken over a path next to a busy road in Kingsthorpe.

The scaffolding for the development on Stanhope Road has created a blind spot for pedestrians meaning they have to go into the road to see if it is safe to cross.

One driver, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "I'm sure this is illegal. Every morning I have kids stepping out in to the road in front of my car and I fear someone is going to get hurt crossing the road."

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Enterprise Real Estate is currently building a block of 14 flats with room for a One Stop convenience shop on the ground floor on the roundabout with the A5095 Kingsthorpe Grove, near The Romany pub.

County and borough councillor for the area, Jane Birch, says the path is regularly used by children walking to nearby Malcolm Arnold Academy and parents going to Kingsthorpe Grove Primary School.

"There should be a safe pedestrian access all the way around the around with enough room for a buggy or a mobility scooter," she said.

Cllr Birch has been in regular contact with building control about the site and visited with the Chronicle & Echo to speak to the site manager about the issue.

The building site has taken over the path on Stanhope Road, creating a blind spot for pedestrians

He explained that Stanhope Road is too narrow for a temporary path and they need to use the path for the scaffolding, but plenty of signs were in place to make sure they were in line with health and safety rules.

The manager and the councillor agreed to erect some additional signs to say the path is closed and direct pedestrians, as well as a temporary ramp on the pavement.

But they accepted there was little more that could be done - the manager admitted the site 'could not be in a worse place' but they had done what they could.

A Northamptonshire County Council spokesman said yesterday (Monday, December 9): “In situations like this we do try to avoid going down the lengthy process of enforcement where possible and instead work with organisations to deal with the issue directly.

“In this case we have been talking to Enterprise Real Estate to agree what changes they need to make to ensure they are adhering to safety regulations.

"Our inspector visited the site again this morning but unfortunately found that these changes have not yet been actioned.

"As a result, we are informing them today that we will be starting the enforcement process on Wednesday if the changes still have not been made.”

Ryan Hudson has been complaining about the issue on Twitter since September over his concerns about the scaffolding which surrounds the site.

The county council's highways team repeatedly told him they were working with the developer to find a solution, but little change made him more and more frustrated.

"I witnessed a woman with a baby in a pram trying to cross at the end of Stanhope Road this morning," he tweeted on November 28.

"She had to push her pram into the rd first in order to be able to see around the blind corner for any traffic. This is ridiculous!!!"