Last Wednesday I saw a woman almost get squashed by a bus. It was quite a shocking moment and only the quick reactions of the woman and the bus driver averted an accident.
The incident seemed to go unnoticed by most passers-by, which was not totally surprising because they too were trying to negotiate a safe route across St Andrew’s Street South.
The road, supposedly a quiet route with only buses and taxis allowed, was jam-packed with traffic.
Every layby was filled with workmen’s white vans, in places delivery lorries were double parked, a coach driver had stopped to ask for directions while motorists were choosing to use the road as a shortcut rather than take a circuitous route around the town.
Picking their way through this chaos were disabled people, pensioners, mums with prams and the usual rush of folk moving between the market and the arc.
And law enforcement? Nowhere to be seen.
I know St Andrew’s Street South is due to get a makeover in the New Year – pinch points to slow down vehicles and the relocation of the bus stop from outside Boots (terribly dangerous at the moment with pedestrians walking out around parked buses into the road without being able to see properly if anything is overtaking) – but something more needs to be done to reduce the sheer volume of traffic.
Elsewhere in the region rising bollards are successfully used to keep out unwanted vehicles; how about banning through traffic altogether, access only? Perhaps deliveries could be limited to a late night/early morning time slot?
There were five or six buses in the road at the same time when the woman was almost hit – perhaps timetables could be adjusted to stop this happening?
The town was promised a proper ‘link’ between the town centre and the arc when it was built but for various reasons this was never delivered and it is unlikely it ever will be, so the least the authorities can do is to make the route a safe one.
And while we’re waiting, perhaps the road can be policed, especially on Wednesdays and Saturdays.