Accident In Downhall Park Way

Chris had the following email yesterday:

I wanted to write to you to inform you of a Lady who was knocked down early Thursday evening when crossing over Downhall Park Way whilst walking along Rawreth Lane.

It was early evening around 6pm, unfortunately she was wearing black and the driver who turned in to Downhall Park Way after returning from Rayleigh Leisure Centre, did not see her crossing and knocked her down. Luckily she escaped with a few cuts a bruises but it made me think that there is no pedestrian crossing at that junction and there isn’t much light at the junction either so that at night it makes it very hard for drivers to see pedestrians and for pedestrians to know when safe to cross.

I live just by the junction for Downhall Park Way and it made me think about the lack of pedestrian awareness at the junction given that since the traffic lights by Asda have been finished a pedestrian green man crossing has been put in place at every traffic light.

I wonder if you know if anything is to be done to change the crossing at Downhall Park Way/Rawreth Lane or if there is something you could do to get it changed.

Chris has talked to a couple of residents near the junction, and they support a controlled crossing here. We are going to meet up with County Highways to discuss this. Any thoughts or comments?

  • I just saw the aftermath of this incident last week and, as I said in an earlier post or two, that stretch of DPW is the classic “accident waiting to happen”.

  • I had a near miss with pedestrian dressed in black at this junction a few months ago. He was crossing the junction heading east, and I had also been travelling east as I turned into DPW.

    I was actually suprised by how little light there is at the point where people want to cross, as when you approach the junction from Rawreth Lane it seems to be flooded with light. I guess the contrast in light levels makes it harder to see pedestrians as you turn off the main road, as your eyes need to adjust to changing light levels.

    I’m not sure a full blown crossing would be necessary, I’m not sure the numbers of pedestrians really justifies it, but the lighting could certainly be improved.

  • Thinking about this incident last night, I wondered if a good solution would be to have a traffic island at the centre of DPW. It would need to have illuminated bollards, and ideally some other lighting to make it easier to see pedestrians.

    DPW is quite wide where it meets the traffic lights, so a centre island would provide a good refuge for those crossing, and could provide extra light.

    On the down side, you’d have to hope that people don’t park too close to it and make access into the road more difficult.

  • If a traffic island is being considered for DPW, then perhaps one at the entrance to Laburnham Way could be provided as well. This will stop a large quantity of drivers traveling along Rawreth Lane from doing U turns.
    I raised this point with County Highways some years ago. In their reply they asked stupid questions such as “Why do motorists do U turns at this location”. My reply was “that presumably they wanted to go in the other direction”.

  • I have been in contact with Essex Highway previously and was told on more than one occasion that the amount of pedestrians crossing at that point did not justify the amount of money it would cost for a pelican crossing. (who determins that) I have never seen anyone sitting there counting people & horses crossing day by day. I was told they had even considered a Pegasus crossing for the horse riders to use. (the access to the field bridle path is right on that junction) But again didn’t think the cost was justified. What price is the life of a person or horse? It’s just an accident waiting to happen. It also took me months of telephone calls & Chris interviened to get a street lamp repaired on the field side of the junction. I am all in favour of any improvement.

  • There was an article in the paper a few months back, which stated that the cost of a zebra crossing is around £110,000, so you can see why you may get resistance to a crossing being installed.

    I’d like to know how much would be spent if they go ahead with changing the western section of Rawreth Lane to 40 mph. I know where I would rather see the investment go.