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Residents back mayor in safety campaign
A picture taken by a reader this week shows how Fordingbridge's narrow roads cause a nightmare for large vehicles and pedestrians
PEOPLE in Fordingbridge are getting behind a campaign to make the town’s pavements safe for pedestrians.
Following a report in last week’s Journal about a woman who was hit on the head by a lorry’s wing mirror as she walked along the High Street, many more people have come forward with their tales of near misses.
Pat Brandwood, of Antells Way, said: “Last week I too was walking, well on the pavement opposite the Co-op, when I felt something brush past my head from behind.
“A large camper van had driven a good 18 inches onto the pavement on which I was walking to avoid a collision with an oncoming lorry.
“I am 80 and wobbly on my feet - another quarter inch and I would have been hit and probably fallen under the camper van.
“A double yellow line in the High Street would solve the parking problem.”
Charles Leith said: “Both my wife and I have had brushes with lorries in the past.
“I was struck on the shoulder from behind by the wing mirror of a lorry, which rotated me round, and my wife had her hair 'brushed' by another lorry - it was close to hitting her head too.”
Readers have been leaving comments on the Journal’s website, with user Anniemay saying: “We have always loved Fordingbridge and have been looking to move into the area.
“We found a house, however we were out-manoeuvred with the purchase.
“After spending some time doing a bit of shopping in the high street we were glad we lost the house as walking along the high street was a real nightmare, and this is from someone who lives in an outer London suburb!
“We felt it was not very enjoyable either walking into the town or along it.
“The lorries make it dusty and dirty and traffic is a constant stream.
“I don't think I have seen as many lorries going through somewhere as there is in Fordingbridge.
“I am sure with a pedestrianised high street, or at the very least no lorries allowed, the shops and pubs would not be shutting down as they are now.
“People might then actually want to shop there and we may think again about moving there.”
Another comment, from Capricorn 1, said: “I was once hit by the wing mirror of a large transit van in Fordingbridge High Street “The scariest thing I once saw there was a lorry travelling with its tailgate flapping open.”
Town mayor Malcolm Connolly is calling for Hampshire County Council to improve pedestrian safety.
He said: “This is a very high priority item – several people have reported near misses so we intend to major in on that point with the director of transport for Hampshire County Council.
“A relief road would be the answer to a lot of problems, but we need a short term solution too and that is what we will be talking to the council about.
“I would encourage people to inform their councillors of any incidents.
“The more information we get the easier it is for us to put our case.”
Anyone who would like to report incidents can email email@example.com or call 01425 654134.
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