Council opposes Marlborough College plans for new crossing over traffic fears (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Council opposes Marlborough College plans for new crossing over traffic fears
2:00pm Thursday 23rd August 2012 in News
COouncillors have opposed a new crossing for Marlborough College students, saying it would cause rush hour traffic chaos.
Not one councillor at Monday’s full council meeting supported the planning application by Marlborough College to install a puffin crossing in Bridewell Street, the section of the A4 between the mini-roundabout by St Peter’s Church and the turning for the college gym at Holts Row.
Now it is up to Wiltshire Council to decide whether the public school can have the extra crossing because west ward councillor Nick Fogg has had the application called in. This means it will be decided by the elected members rather than under officers’ delegated powers.
It is the second time that the college has tried to get a pedestrian crossing on the same stretch of road where students and teachers cross over to reach the High Street.
About four or five years ago a similar proposal was turned down because of the potential for causing traffic gridlock on this busy main A4 Marlborough-Bath road.
On busy days the two existing crossings add to delays for motorists heading into town and, at peak times, traffic can queue back for several hundred yards.
Coun Fogg, a former teacher at the college, said the public school had proposed a crossing at the same point in Bridewell Street when its new art school opened, which meant more students crossing that stretch of road.
He said the council’s traffic fears over the earlier application were still valid.
He said: “The college is now saying that they have residential accommodation in High Street (the former Ivy House Hotel) and girl students will need to cross that road.”
Coun Marian Hannaford Dobson said the former Kennet District Council had blocked the college’s previous plan for this extra crossing but as the public school would be paying the full cost now it would probably be allowed.
Coun Stewart Dobson said: “You can’t possibly have three pedestrian crossings in such a short distance. For traffic coming in from the west of the town in particular this will just add to the congestion. I can’t see the need for an additional crossing.”
No one was available at the college to comment.