On Tuesday morning (October 2), a number of residents of Medina Court sheltered accommodation held a protest, briefly delaying traffic on Mill Street (between the High Street and Sainsbury’s) in Newport.
They believe that the volume of traffic on Mill Street, as well as the excessive speed of some drivers, is putting their lives in danger and would like to see a pedestrian crossing on the street close to their retirement home.
One resident, John Nash, complained that he found it difficult to cross the road to go to town or to Sainsbury’s. He claimed that the traffic went at excessive speed, and described Mill Street as “a mini race track”.
Another resident, Joy Miller, described the predicament residents had found themselves in more dramatically, claiming: “If we don’t get a crossing soon one of us will get killed or injured.”
She added that she “had nearly had a knock or worse”.
According to Joy: “Nearly all of us have to run across the road and some of us can’t run.”
Mick Hunter spoke of one situation that had almost resulted in tragedy, when his wife had a narrow escape from being struck by a moving vehicle and that, “if I hadn’t pulled Shirley out of the way she would have been killed”.
The residents of Medina Court claim to have campaigned for a pedestrian crossing on Mill Street for some considerable time, without receiving a satisfactory response.
Councillor Julie Jones-Evans (Newport Central) said: “This is an ongoing issue that has many complex elements. I have commissioned recently through the parish council, plans to improve the whole area.
“I first put forward to the Isle of Wight Council (IWC) a proposal for a pedestrian crossing on this section of Mill Street in 2012 and it was IWC that decided a crossing would not be necessary.
“Sadly, for residents this was a shortsighted decision and rather than get the crossing put in by Barratt’s, we are having to campaign and prove the case to the council, which will now have to pay for the crossing.
“I am in constant dialogue with officers to work for a proper solution to improve pedestrian safety for everyone in this area, we have Homewight House and Somers Brook, in the immediate area, which are occupied by seniors and they need to feel safe.
“When people don’t feel safe, they begin to avoid going out, which can lead to isolation and health issues.”