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Debate over road's 'frightening' crossing point reaches stalemate

PUBLISHED: 07:43 28 January 2019

Debate is rumbling on over the safety of the A12 at Pontins Pakefield. Picture: Google

Debate is rumbling on over the safety of the A12 at Pontins Pakefield. Picture: Google

Archant

Debate over the safety of a controversial crossing point on the A12 is rumbling on - with seemingly no solution in sight.

Campaigners say crossing the road from Pontins Pakefield Holiday Park to the bus stop on the opposite side of the road is a significant safety hazard to passengers.

Having met last year with Michael Ladd, Waveney District Council’s cabinet member for tourism and economic development, Pontins’ management team expressed willingness to allow buses to pull into the park and stop there.

But service operators argue diverting into Pontins would wreak havoc, with Border Bus managing director Andrew Pursey saying it would “decimate” the company’s timetable.

Victor Rones, who has been campaigning for the council to make changes, believes there is one ideal solution.

“For me the answer is a pedestrian crossing and three sets of traffic lights,” said Mr Rones. “It’s a 40mph limit but people are doing 50 and 60 down there.

“It’s not just a problem for people going to Pontins, but for children and the community. Even when you are waiting at the stop, you’re frightened to look out for a bus.

“I know councils are going through a lot of cutbacks but I think the money would be well spent - it’s a long term solution.”

While Pontins would be happy for buses to pick up and drop off in the park, operations manager Malachy Machin acknowledged the difficulty in pleasing all parties.

“It’s a tough one to sort,” he said. “From the bus company’s perspective it would cause timetable issues and pulling in and turning around would be a challenge.

“It’s hard to know whether the expense of a crossing would be worthwhile, but our management has only ever heard of one accident on this road and it had nothing to do with a pedestrian.”

Despite requesting a quote for the installation of a pedestrian crossing, Mr Ladd remains sceptical about its feasibility.

“A crossing would cost a huge amount of money and I’m not sure it would be immensely popular with people travelling to work - especially towards Lowestoft,” said Mr Ladd.

“There would be numerous stages, including consultation, so I imagine it might take as much as 18 months if we secured the money. The most practical option would be for buses to pull into Pontins.”

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