Residents living near to a busy South Tyneside road where a woman lost her life say it was only a matter of time before someone was killed.
Calls by those who live in the Aged Miners Cottages, in Marsden Road, South Shields, to have a pedestrian refuge installed has been ongoing for a number of years.
We are all in shock. We have been calling for years to have a pedestrian refuge put into the road to make it easier to cross.Resident
Despite raising it on a number of occasions with the council, those living in the cottages say their call has gone unanswered.
Following the tragedy on Wednesday night when an elderly woman, who lived in the cottages, was killed after being hit by a car, her neighbours have renewed their plea for action to make the road safer.
One resident said: “She was a lovely lady, I’ve spoken to her on a number of occasions. She was very pleasant.
“Everyone here is devastated. Even people who didn’t know her personally have all been upset by what’s happened.
“We have been calling for years to have a pedestrian refuge put into the road to make it easier to cross.”
He added: “The cars come speeding down here at times. We’re not saying that on this occasion, the driver was speeding, but this was just an accident waiting to happen.
“We’re pensioners and some of us can’t walk fast. There are some on walkers. We need something to make it safer for us to cross.”
A letter received by the resident that, in 2014, their concerns led to a speed survey being carried out but no crossing or pedestrian refuge was installed.
The letter stated it was not possible due to the placement of existing bus stops, a number of vehicle entrances on the road and that it would reduce the number of spaces for on-street parking.
Local councillor, Coun Neil Maxwell, has called for a full report by the traffic department into road safety for pedestrians along that stretch of road to be presented at the next meeting of the East Shields Community Area Forum.
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “We are devastated by this tragic incident and are also saddened to learn of another serious accident on the Coast Road only hours earlier. Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of all those involved.
“Our absolute priority is road safety. Over recent years, we have installed vehicle activated speed signs to help slow down traffic on Marsden Road.
“We also looked into the possibility of zebra crossings, traffic lights and pedestrian refuges, which highlighted difficulties due to the nature of the road and its multiple junctions and the impact on residents needing access to their driveways.
“However, we are working with the police to establish exactly what happened and following the outcome of their investigation, we will look into whether any additional safety measures can be explored in this area.”