SAFETY improvements are set to be carried out at two of York’s busiest junctions, which have been identified as accident blackspots.
City transport bosses plan to make changes at the Fishergate Gyratory, where a woman was killed five years ago, and at the junction of St Leonard’s Place, Bootham and Gillygate.
The Fishergate work would cost about £200,000 and would involve improving pedestrian crossings at the Fishergate/Paragon Street and Paragon Street/Fawcett Street junctions as well as workingon local pavements. The work is also designed to make it safer for people walking to the Barbican centre, which reopened last year.
In 2007, 22-year-old Lucie Brabyn died after being struck by a taxi at the junction, leading to calls for safety upgrades on the route. The amount of money available for the work in 2011/12 was cut amid spending reductions and because council officers said more analysis was needed.
Coun Dave Merrett, City of York Council’s cabinet member for transport issues, will be asked to approve the plans at a meeting next Monday and at the same meeting will also be asked to approve £4,000 of “interim” improvements to signs and markings at the junction next to Exhibition Square and Bootham Bar, where there have been nine injury accidents in the past three years.
Guildhall councillors Janet Looker and Brian Watson say larger-scale works should be carried out, but the council has said wider improvements are planned in 2014 as part of its Reinvigorate York city-centre facelift.
A report on the Fishergate plans by council engineer Roger Webster said: “The proposed pedestrian crossing and footway improvements are intended to make it safer for pedestrians to access the reopened Barbican venue, particularly those using St George’s Field car park.
“There is a long-standing commitment to provide these improvements and the scheme seeks to address specific safety concerns in the area.”
The St Leonard’s Place/Gillygate/Bootham proposals include more space for cyclists in an “advance stop-line box” on Bootham, removing “unnecessary” sections of guardrail, adding another set of St Leonard’s Place road markings which indicate destinations and also moving a direction sign which is often hidden by tree branches. Council engineer Louise Robinson said in a report:
“These proposals have been kept minor and low-cost, but will hopefully provide some improvement to the accident rate in the interim period [before any Reinvigorate York work].”