A ROAD safety campaigner has pressed the county council for a pedestrian crossing on a major Winchester road.

Mike Slinn addressed councillors on behalf of the Kings Barton Residents’ Association, the new 2,000-home estate being built off Andover Road.

Local people are campaigning for a pedestrian crossing to link Weeke and Harestock with the new Barton Farm Academy that opened in September. Andover Road has a speed limit of 50mph.

Last month the Chronicle reported a row after the Liberal Democrats allegedly hijacked the issue.

Mr Slinn said: "This is a seriously dangerous place to have to cross Andover Road. There is considerable traffic on Andover Road, which links Winchester to the A34, and traffic speeds on this section of Andover Road are high. The sight-line for motorists approaching at 50mph from the north towards Winchester is poor because of the vertical alignment. A pedestrian was killed in January this year at this location.

"Currently 10 primary school children who live in Harestock and Weeke have to cross this road to reach Barton Farm Primary Academy. There is just one class, a Reception class, at the school at the moment. Next September the plan is for the Reception-class children to move up to a Year 1 class and for two new Reception classes to be introduced implying perhaps 30 children having to cross this road with their parents and siblings every day to and from the school. The numbers will increase in future years as two more classes are added to the school each year."

Mr Slinn said secondary school children were crossing the road to reach Henry Beaufort School.

The Kings Barton Residents’ Association, representing some 270 households, has a petition calling for a crossing, improving walking and cycling routes and cutting the speed limit from 50/40mph to 30mph.

The petition has already attracted more than 500 signatures.

In the long-term there are plans to close Andover Road to through traffic and and divert vehicles through the new development. Mr Slinn said the change is planned to happen after 650 dwellings are built.

"It has taken three years and nine months to reach 270 dwellings occupied. CALA Homes advise that it is likely to take at least another five years to reach 650 dwellings occupied and to have Andover Road closed to traffic with this traffic being then diverted.

"We cannot wait for this closure to occur. The danger for pedestrians crossing Andover Road is obvious and immediate. One of the primary school parents told me that she and her children were nearly hit two weeks ago trying to cross Andover Road. If somebody is hit it will not be an accident; it will be a predictable fatal casualty. I’m sure none of us here want another fatal casualty to a pedestrian at this location."