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Pedestrians fuming over traffic lights delay at Yeovil crossing

By Western Gazette - Yeovil  |  Posted: February 01, 2013

Councillor Tony Lock and Lyde Road residents Lorna Gage and Kelvin Purvis are angry that the new traffic crossing has not been activated

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Residents are being forced to “take their lives into their own hands” as delays over a crossing continue in Yeovil.

District councillor Tony Lock voiced concerns in July last year that important infrastructure work near a new housing estate had not been completed.

He said developer Barratt Homes should have built a new footpath and traffic light-controlled crossing across Lyde Road near Cavalier Way.

The developer agreed to pay the costs of the project as part of the planning agreement for the nearby Wyndham Park development.

The crossing was completed in December, but Mr Lock is concerned that residents are still unable to cross the road safely as the traffic lights are covered up.

He said: “The crossing was finished before Christmas but the lights still aren’t up and running.

“Somerset County Council is waiting for a hard line telephone cable to be installed before they can commission the traffic lights – this is the responsibility of Barratt Homes.

“Many residents have contacted me about it. They want to know why the lights aren’t working, and rightly so.

“It is a very, very busy road and the central reservation has been taken out so they can no longer cross halfway.

“Residents’ lives are being put in danger by the lack of work to get this done, they are taking their lives into their own hands.”

Mr Lock said he has been pursuing this for more than a year.

In July, both Somerset County Council and Barratt Homes told the Western Gazette that the initial hold up was due to delays in legal proceedings.

Mr Lock added: “I have been pursuing this for a long, long time and it’s very frustrating to now see that the lights have finally been put in but residents still cannot use the crossing.”

The issue first arose when Barratt Exeter and David Wilson sought to clarify permission for 210 new homes on the site in July.

Mr Lock had concerns regarding discussions between Barratt and the county council about revising the legal agreement.

This had set out that the developer would install a footpath and puffin crossing along Lyde Road, and improve the junction at Sherborne Road and Lyde Road.

This was part of permission for homes already built at the site and Mr Lock had called for the developers to stick to this.

A spokesman for the county council said: “We are waiting for the developer to inform us that the communications network has been installed.

“This will allow us to monitor any faults on the crossing and, for reasons of safety, until this happens we will not commission the crossing.”

Barrett Homes said they had been waiting for a provisional date from BT to install the line and it this is due to be done today. The traffic lights will then be commissioned.

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