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Next entry: Zebra Crossing Part Two

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Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Pantomime crossing in Oxted

First the sign on the left went up, advising that there would be roadworks here from 3 December 2012, for approximately two and a half weeks. Well it’s certainly been a long two and a half weeks, because it’s now the end of January and the sign on the right has been erected saying that the zebra crossing is not in use.  In between the two events a zebra crossing was constructed and there seems to have been a long period where nothing has happened. Presumably the council workers/sub-contractors are merely on an extended tea break, and will return at the allotted hour for resuming work!

As the following picture shows, the zebra crossing is practically on a bend in the road so people have been questioning the wisdom of it. Therefore I was not surprised that this topic of its location even came up in one of the Oxted Parish Council meetings that discussed the original proposal:

The issue of the zebra crossing on Station Approach and the bend were considered. It was agreed the Clerk should respond endorsing the principle of the crossing but with reservations regarding the location and confirming that dropped kerbs would also be incorporated for accessbility.

I should however also add that I have heard a lot of support voiced for the crossing. A driver’s perspective may be that it is in an “inconvenient location” but a pedestrian’s viewpoint is that it provides a safe crossing at a place where it is most needed (since it is difficult to cross near the bend and intersections otherwise). It also is on a route frequented by school children and elderly residents, and (combined with a narrowing of the carriageways on the bend itself, which is not clear from my photos) the changed road layout will force drivers to be more careful. Hence, despite my initial doubts, I too am in favour of the changes.

So why do I refer to the crossing as a pantomime? Well besides for the protracted installation, what I found funny was the latest sign saying:


using the technique of capitalising letters that was so common in the 1970s before bold and larger typefaces became preferred ways of indicating emphasis.  Since I can vouch that the zebra crossing has been used, for about three weeks now, I am tempted to add, in the large blank space below the above words:


Rather than partially installing the crossing, then doing nothing for a few weeks, then telling us that their work was incomplete (“crossing not in use” presumably translates as “we haven’t yet finished this”) why don’t they commit to delivering the road feature in a quick and efficient manner?

Posted by bigblue on 29/01/2013 at 06:17 PM
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