Collision that injured Poole pensioner branded as an 'accident waiting to happen' by worried residents (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Collision that injured Poole pensioner branded as an 'accident waiting to happen' by worried residents
A COLLISION which left a Poole pensioner fighting for his life happened on a controversial gyratory system previously branded “an accident waiting to happen.”
John Fletcher, 77, was hit by a car as he crossed West Street near the Queen Mary pub in Poole on Saturday night.
The road makes up part of a new £930,000 system which had previously been branded “a race track” and “an accident waiting to happen” by worried residents.
In the immediate aftermath of the accident John’s friends and neighbours told of their anger that no crossing had been put in when the new road system was introduced.
Changes were made to the road network ready for the Twin Sails Bridge, despite concerns that it was pedestrian and cyclist-unfriendly and would encourage speeding.
They included reversing the direction of traffic on Bay Hogg Lane, a new Marston Road linking West Quay Road and West Street, making West Quay Road one-way northbound and West Street one-way southbound.
Residents took their fight as far as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Gov-ernment Eric Pickles.
The system is currently the subject of an independent review due to report any day.
West Street resident Fiona Julian said Saturday’s accident had left her and her neighbours “shaken.”
“The concerns over speeding cars, a lack of pedestrian crossings and a one-way system that snookers people were all realised together on Saturday evening,” she said.
Bill Constance, chairman of Poole Old Town Conservation Group, of which Mr Fletcher is a member, said the group had also raised concerns.
“It’s hit the community hard,” he added.
“But I’m sorry to say I’m not surprised this has happened.”
Cllr Mike Brooke, Lib Dem leader, said an accident was “everybody’s worst fear” when they raised the issues about the system a year ago.
“It achieves the movement of traffic, but nothing else,” he said.
Poole town councillor Chris Wilson, who knows Mr Fletcher personally, said: “There’s no pedestrian phasing – you take your life in your hands. We’ve said so many times it’s dangerous and an accident waiting to happen – and it has happened.”
She added: “John is such a popular, well-known figure.
“We all wish him well and want him back home.”