Campaigners in Bradford on Avon have launched a petition to stop the removal of the zebra crossing in Market Street that has been proposed in the Historic Core Zone scheme.
The Save Our Zebra petition was started by concerned residents Godfrey Marks and Kate Nottage and it began circulating around the town this week.
Phase one of the HCZ proposal aims to ‘rebalance’ the relationship between pedestrians and vehicles and ‘declutter’ the Market Street and Church Street junction. This includes the removal of the zebra crossing and the introduction of three courtesy crossings.
Mr Marks, who has campaigned on traffic issues in the town for 16 years, said: “It discriminates against the elderly, infirm and very young. It seems contrary to the whole purpose of the HCZ.
“It’s applicable in minor streets but is totally unsuitable to the major throughfare of Market Street, because of the volume of traffic.
“The idea is if you deregulate everyone will have to be very careful and traffic safety will be improved. But they are proposing to create a dangerous situation to make it safer.”
Mrs Nottage, of Whitehill, is a retired teacher who has taught or assisted at all three schools in Bradford on Avon.
The grandmother-of-one said: “Children can assert themselves at a zebra crossing more than at a courtesy crossing.”
Simon Fisher, chairman of the HCZ Working Group, said: “The point is that the motorist is induced to drive more carefully by the fact there are no zebra crossings. Maintaining the zebra crossing makes a nonsense of the scheme.”
Supported by Bradford on Avon Town Council and Area Board, phase one of the scheme will go forward when it gets funding from Wiltshire Council.
There is £76,000 available from the Five Towns Initiative passed over from West Wiltshire District Council to Wiltshire Council to hold for Bradford on Avon.
The petition can be found in Made in Bradford in Lamb Yard and Art Is in the Name in Silver Street.