Customers jump for cover to avoid cars
SAFETY improvements are planned at a busy junction – to stop motorists mounting the pavement to beat congestion.
Bollards have already been installed to tackle the road safety problem in Victoria Street, Hartshill.
It comes after drivers were mounting the pavement to avoid oncoming traffic at the junction of Victoria Street and Stoke Old Road.
Similar problems have also been reported at the junction of Shelton New Road and Victoria Street.
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But buildings would have to be knocked down to make the Stoke Old Road junction any wider.
Now highways officers at Stoke-on-Trent City Council are to install special technology which measures traffic levels and can change traffic light signals accordingly.
The work should be carried out in the new year.
Traders have been campaigning for safety improvements at the Stoke Old Road junction.
Andrea Kelsall, aged 43, who is the manager of the Stephen Miller salon, in Victoria Street, said: "The bollard outside the salon is frequently knocked down and we have to warn our clients before they leave the salon to look out for cars."
Business partner Sarah Pound, aged 46, added: "A few years ago a client was leaving the salon when a car drove on the pavement straight at her.
"She had to jump backwards, it was a very near miss.
"If she had children with her, I dread to think what would have happened."
Resident Steven Sale, aged 59, who has lived in Old Stoke Road for 16 years, said: "The roads around here are a rat-run for people on their way to Hartshill.
"Parts of this road are too narrow for two cars so when drivers get into a confrontation one of them will mount the pavement to get round."
City Councillor Ruth Rosenau, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transportation, said: "The junction is very constrained by narrow footways and residential properties. Unfortunately, due to these constraints, it is not feasible to make significant improvements to either junction without significant expense and without loss of residential properties.
"We have previously responded to concerns from residents and businesses by erecting bollards at the Stoke Old Road junction to protect pedestrians from inconsiderate drivers.
"However, we recognise concerns from residents and are undertaking minor improvements, involving upgrading existing traffic signals and introducing intelligent traffic signal software.
"Through information provided by traffic loops in the road, this software continually monitors queue lengths on all approaches to the junction and then automatically adjusts the timing of the signal operation to minimise congestion.
"In addition, pedestrian push button facilities will be introduced to improve safety when crossing this junction."