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Long Street, Thirsk

Volume 649: debated on Wednesday 22 November 1961

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33.

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware of the danger to pedestrians, especially the elderly, in Long Street, Thirsk, through the absence of pedestrian crossings in this portion of the trunk road A.19; and what steps he proposes to take to mitigate this danger in the immediate future.

It is unusual, Mr. Speaker, but may I add my congratulations to the loud chorus of "Hear, hear" which has been expressed in welcome to a very noble Member of this House, namely, the hon. Member for Liverpool, Scotland (Mr. Logan), who celebrates his ninetieth birthday today.

The Answer to the Question is this. I explained fully in my letter of 14th March last to my right hon. Friend why the conditions on this road do not justify the provision of a pedestrian crossing. I have re-examined the position in the light of the most recent accident records but I regret that I can see no reason to alter my decision.

Has not my right hon. Friend overlooked the fact that at an inquest on an elderly person who was killed art this site early this year the jury strongly recommended the provision of a pedestrian crossing? My constituents unanimously take the view that unless something is done there will be a repetition of the accidents to elderly people crossing the trunk road, because at present they have no aid at all.

A zebra crossing does not necessarily by itself and automatically bring safety. I wish it did. It has to be sited correctly and there must not be too many of them, otherwise the motorists tend to ignore them. I have consulted the police in this matter. They agree with me that it ought not to be provided.

Is my right hon. Friend content to have these fatal accidents constantly occurring? My Question asks what steps he proposes to take to mitigate the danger. Does he intend to take no action at all to mitigate the danger?

I will take as much action as I can to mitigate danger, but I do not think that the action my right hon. Friend proposes is the right one.

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on Adjournment.