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Marylebone crossing still puts lives at risk

PUBLISHED: 13:11 03 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:34 07 September 2010

Parents and children attempt to cross the road in Marylebone

Parents and children attempt to cross the road in Marylebone

Sanchez Manning A DANGEROUS school crossing in Marylebone Road has not been fixed by Transport for London (TfL) – despite a petition with signatures from more than 800 residents and assurances it had been done. Actress Olivia Williams, who appeared in the

Sanchez Manning

A DANGEROUS school crossing in Marylebone Road has not been fixed by Transport for London (TfL) - despite a petition with signatures from more than 800 residents and assurances it had been done.

Actress Olivia Williams, who appeared in the Bruce Willis film Sixth Sense, has led a sustained campaign to get the lights altered on the crossing between the Landmark Hotel and Enford Street, close to St Mary's Bryanston Square Primary School.

The actress and mother-of-two, who lives on Balcombe Road, says pedestrians are often forced to wait two or more minutes on an island in the centre of the crossing because the lights are out of sequence.

She says the delay is potentially deadly because children rushing to get to school in the morning will run across to avoid being late.

"8.50am in the morning is when people going to school and work will take absurd risks to try to get there on time - particularly 10-year-old children who will look at their watches rather than the cars and will run across the crossing," she said.

Ms Williams was in discussions with TfL to amend the green man timings to allow people to cross in one movement and officials told her it had been done. But a test one morning this week by the Wood &Vale and London Assembly member Murad Qureshi revealed that it was still not possible to cross in one go.

Walking at the same pace that a parent with a buggy or children in toe might adopt, the reporter and Mr Qureshi still found themselves stranded on the central reservation for a number of minutes.

After being informed of TfL's failure, Ms Williams, who is working on a film in LA, said: "I'm extremely disappointed in TfL's commitment to pedestrians' and children's safety."

Roz Hobley, whose children attend St Mary's Bryanston Square, said she also thought TfL needed to take urgent action.

She said: "People say that road is almost like a motorway. I would like TfL to come and work with the parents to make it safer."

In a letter to Mr Qureshi, London mayor Boris Johnson said that the crossing was "complex" and changes would have a "significant detrimental effect on the flow of traffic in the area, leading to increased congestion and vehicle emissions".

"As a result, I am afraid it will not be possible to alter the timings of the crossings in order to allow pedestrians to cross in one movement," the mayor wrote. Mr Qureshi responded: "Yet again, the mayor is pandering to the car and disregarding the people."

A TfL spokesman said they had made some alterations to the crossing timings and insisted "on most occasions" pedestrians can cross in one go.


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