MP in clash with council over road crossing

Simon Bristow

HULL MP Diana Johnson is at loggerheads with Hull Council over pedestrian safety on one of the city’s busiest roads.

The Hull North Labour MP wants a pedestrian crossing installed between Hall Road and Dunswell roundabout, which she says will improve public safety and give residents greater access to local shops and services.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Ms Johnson, who met council officials on Friday to press her case, conducted a poll of residents last year that found 98 per cent were in favour of the proposals.

She said: “Hundreds of residents living in this area currently have to walk a quarter of a mile to cross near the Tesco supermarket at Hall Road. Those wanting to use local bus stops have to walk even further.

“A new crossing would help residents, particularly the elderly and children, to cross safely. Also, by causing traffic to slow down, it would assist more generally with road safety.”

The MP criticised councillors at the Liberal Democrat-run authority, who she said had blocked the scheme.

“Since Liberal Democrat councillors last year voted down Labour’s proposal for this new crossing that local residents want and need, Hull City Council has continued to resist the idea,” she said. “The council’s argument is that not enough local residents attempt to cross along this stretch of Beverley Road.

“However, given how busy and dangerous this stretch of road is, this is no surprise.

“This is exactly why the residents want the new crossing.”

She added: “It is an unfortunate reflection on the council’s spending priorities that they cannot find money for a new crossing that would improve the lives and safety of many local people.”

Her claims were dismissed by Coun Mike Ross, portfolio holder for customer and neighbourhood services at the council. He said Labour councillors were to blame for lack of action on the scheme, and said Ms Johnson had turned down an offer to have the plans looked into at Friday’s meeting.

He said: “It is important to note that the Labour group on the council has backed away from the proposal, as it did not appear in their budget this year.

“It's a shame that when an offer was made by officers to carry out further investigation, it was declined.”

Coun Ross challenged the MP to produce a petition he said she has been working on calling for the crossing to be built., saying she had so far failed to do so.