Row over plan to replace pelican crossing in Fltiwck High Street with zebra crossing

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The difference between a pelican and a zebra is causing outrage among safety-conscious residents of Flitwick.

They have discovered plans to redevelop their High Street include ripping out a ‘safe and well-positioned’ Pelican crossing and replacing it with a standard zebra crossing further down the road.

Town councillor Martin Platt predicts the move will prove a hazard for pedestrians and also cause Flitwick to be gridlocked with traffic.

The new zebra crossing planned by Central Beds Council will be 47 metres north – and closer to the apex of the bend as traffic exits the railway bridge.

A public notice outlining the details was posted in High Street this week.

Mr Platt said: “This will mean heavy commercial vehicles having to be in the middle of the road as they come around the bend and will stop the traffic flow.”

He added: “The junction already has a large amount of visual junctions to look out for, with the children from Woodland School using the crossing and also traffic from the station car park.

“At times Flitwick will be gridlocked.”

Mr Platt and other town councillors are also fighting for a zebra crossing to be built in Temple Way, to keep children from Flitwick Lower School safe as they cross the road.

He is urging residents to give their views on the pelican and zebra swap plan, which can also be viewed on the Central Bedfordshire Council website in the public notices section.

“The general public need to know and respond. A notice is in place but most people will pass it and not take note,” he said.

The notice states the council is using its powers under the road Traffic Regulations Act of 1984 to remove the existing Pelican crossing across the full width of the High Street.

It adds: “The reason is to improve pedestrian access to local amenities, Flitwick railway station and local schools.”

The works are being proposed as part of a highway improvement scheme associated with measures to improve the “street scene” in the town.

According to the notice, the new zebra crossing with be sited 24 metres north of the High Street’s junction with the Avenue.