Safety fears over removal of barriers following roadworks in Stamford
Concerns have been raised over pedestrian safety after metal railings were removed and not replaced during work to update traffic lights at a busy town centre junction.
Lincolnshire County Council spent five weeks carrying out roadworks at the junction of Scotgate and West Street in Stamford.
Engineers had been working to install a new puffin crossing and replace ageing traffic lights with energy-saving LED technology.
The work was completed on Friday, but local residents have expressed concern that metal railings have been taken away.
Kate Riley, bookings manager at All Saints and St John’s Community Centre, which is separated from the junction by nothing but a narrow footpath, fears it is only a matter of time before a pedestrian is hurt.
She said: “The centre is in almost constant use throughout the week with a wide range of community groups including brownies, scouts, a karate club, Stamford Foodbank, Stamford Amateur Musical Society, a yoga class, a pre-school playgroup, a camera club and church groups.
“We have a lot of young children using the building and for around 40 years the railings provided a barrier between pedestrians and traffic.
“But now they have been taken away I’m worried. A lot of heavy goods vehicles pass through here every day and I’m concerned there is nothing to keep pedestrians away from them.”
Simon Cahill, owner of CJ Carpets and Lighting, which is opposite the church hall, said he too was surprised to see the railings taking away.
He said: “Vehicles do tend to take the corner quite tightly and now there’s nothing to stop them encroaching on the pavement.
“We get a lot of elderly people and school children walking past here everyday and I’d rather the barriers had been left in place.
“The roadworks were a major problem for us – we’ve lost thousands of pounds because people couldn’t get to the shop.”
Lincolnshire County Council said the metal barriers had been removed because they were “deemed unnecessary”.
In a statement, Melvyn Green, engineer for system and operations, said: “In refurbishing the junction of Scott Gate and West Street, we have had designers and engineers review the area.
“They have deemed pedestrian railings unnecessary at the junction.
“This is not uncommon and we often look to declutter areas when we refurbish them if it’s safe to do so.”