Tue, 10 Jul 2018
WHY do cars keep crashing in Hungerford town centre?
The question was discussed at a recent meeting of the town council’s highways and transport committee and was prompted by the most recent incident, in which a Volkswagen ploughed into the John O’Gaunt Inn last month.
Committee chairman Rob Brookman told the meeting: “It’s been suggested by one of our colleagues that perhaps extra traffic-calming measures, such as a pelican crossing, should be put in the High Street because of the incidents involving cars crashing.”
Councillor John Downe said: “It’s happened that someone has rammed a building even in a car park.
“Do we even know the cause of these accidents?”
His colleague, Rob Chicken, pointed out: “What is concerning is the frequency.
“In the past four years there have been several accidents, but coming off the A4 there is a sharp bend by the John O’Gaunt [Inn], then a hump-back bridge.”
However, there have also been calls to introduce a pelican crossing – which would incorporate pedestrian-operated traffic lights – on the High Street, following several near misses and accidents at the zebra crossing by the red telephone kiosk.
Moving the kiosk to improve visibility would be problematic, Mr Brookman reminded the meeting, because it is Grade II-listed.
Mr Chicken remarked: “That seems to be considered a higher priority than human safety, but I don’t feel the number of incidents warrants excessive restrictions.”
And councillor John Downe remarked: “In fact, the behaviour of drivers at the crossing in Hungerford High Street is exemplary.”
Among the incidents in or near the High Street, which the committee considered, were the following:
Despite the toll, the committee felt that introducing extra traffic- calming measures would be an unnecessary intervention and unlikely to prevent such accidents in future.
Members therefore decided not to recommend such action to full council.