New zebra crossing is 'an accident waiting to happen'
NEW road markings outside a Whitehall Primary School have been condemned as an accident waiting to happen.
The zebra-print markings have been painted across Johnsons Lane outside The Limes Nursery and just around the corner from Whitehall Primary School.
The new marking is not technically a zebra crossing and there are concerns it could cause confusion.
But the council said the patterned marking highlights the position of new dropped kerbs that have been installed to make crossing the road safer for children.
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Hugh Bladon, spokesman for the Association of British Drivers, said: "I can't understand what the highways people are playing at.
"The marking is very misleading and extremely dangerous.
"It has been painted where there is a dropped kerb which implies it is a pedestrian crossing.
"I think it has created an accident waiting to happen."
Mr Bladon said drivers already had to cope with too many signs and road markings.
Resident Patrick Lawrence told the Post: "The 'pretend' crossing is sure to cause confusion for motorists and pedestrians. Neither motorist nor pedestrian will really understand what the road markings mean.
"A pedestrian, possibly a child going to school, may think they have priority on the pretend zebra crossing, while at the same time a motorist may be aware that the markings in the road mean nothing at all and so ignore them. The consequential results could be significant.
"In its perceived wisdom the council has also painted a pretend zebra crossing on the nearby cycle path.
"This will lead to pedestrians crossing from Bruce Road to Johnsons Road to think they have some kind of priority over the thousands of pedestrian and cycle traffic using the Bristol to Bath cycle path."
Bristol City Council spokeswoman Kate Hartas said the new 'school-friendly' scheme, which is funded by Sustrans, was designed by the same team who are devising the cycle path from Long Ashton to Bristol.
She said: "The aim was to improve the walking route between the nursery and the primary school.
"It was agreed, in consultation with residents and parents, that the best way of doing this was to encourage use of the existing footways in a fun way. No dropped kerbs existed – a particular problem for parents with young children or those pushing buggies.
"In order to make this option more attractive, the council has installed a total of seven dropped kerbs, with three zebra-skin markings to highlight the position of these crossings. Fun markings encourage the children to actively want to cross at a specific, safer place, whereas previously they were crossing at a number of points, some dangerous.
"There has been plenty of dialogue with the school throughout the scheme's development.
"Children's reaction to the crossings has been as the team expected – exactly as it is at any crossing.
"They stop, wait, look and listen for oncoming traffic. The unusual markings are having a very positive impact on drivers however, who are slowing and stopping around the school – certainly an improvement on previous behaviour.
"The message is that the road around the school is a child-friendly space and cars must take care."