‘An accident waiting to happen’ - father calls for safety improvements to pathway

October 25 2019
‘An accident waiting to happen’ - father calls for safety improvements to pathway

A ‘dangerous’ walkway stretching under St Luke’s Road railway bridge is an ‘accident waiting to happen’, says a local dad who has launched a petition calling for safety improvements.

There are two walkways under the rail bridge. However, the railings running along the pavement nearest to Victoria Park stop halfway through the underpass, which Knowle resident Kevin Lindegaard (pictured) says leaves pedestrians vulnerable to traffic – particularly school children.

Mr Lindegaard, who worries for the safety of his daughter who uses St Luke’s Road to get to and from St Mary Redcliffe and Temple school, like hundreds of other students, also says that - despite the lights recently being cleaned and repaired by the council - the walkway is still “too dim”, and with vehicles regularly speeding along this stretch of road, an accident is waiting to happen.

Photo: Local resident and father Kevin Lindegaard is calling for the railings to be extended under the bridge in St Luke’s RoadThe biomass energy consultant says that the footway is particularly problematic in the winter when it becomes much darker in the morning and late afternoon, and the sloping path becomes icy.

The petition is calling for the council to extend the railings by an extra 30 to 40 metres to the end of the rail bridge, approaching York Road, and to upgrade the lighting to ‘brighter and more efficient LEDs’.

Mr Lindegaard told the South Bristol Voice: “There’s no rhyme or reason why these railings stop halfway – it’s an oversight and a very dangerous one at that.

“If you see something that’s dangerous and don’t report it, and something serious happens, you couldn’t live with yourself.

“The stretch of road is very scary.”

In an email seen by South Bristol Voice from the council to Mr Lindegaard, in response to his petition, the local authority says that it is “not possible” to extend the railings “as the footway width would be reduced below minimum standards due to the presence of a lamp column and road sign” and that it would “restrict vehicular access to Victoria Park for maintenance contractors”.

However, as mentioned in the email correspondence - and also in Windmill Hill ward councillors Jon Wellington and Lucy Whittle’s columns this month (see page 13 of Nov Totterdown edition) - £60,000 funding has been secured to install a crossing in St Luke’s Road to help reduce traffic speed and improve access to Victoria Park from St Luke’s Crescent.

The council adds that “it may be possible to look at the footway widths and the positioning of street furniture as part of this project”.

According to Cllr Wellington, the speed of traffic in St Luke’s Road has been a “recurring complaint” among residents.

It is anticipated that the crossing will be installed during the 2020-21 financial year, but there will be a consultation with local residents first.

The South Bristol Voice had contacted the council prior to seeing the email correspondence from the council to Mr Lindegaard.

 A spokesperson said: “We constantly monitor road safety across the city to identify any problem areas and in this case, the lights under the St Luke’s Road bridge have recently been cleaned and repaired to improve visibility in this area.’’

Mr Lindegaard’s petition can be found at bit.ly/st-lukes-rd-safety.