PEOPLE in three villages along the A48 held “mass crossings” of the road to highlight the need to make it safer for pedestrians.

People living in Alvington, Aylburton and Westbury say the road is becoming busier and more dangerous to cross.

They want Gloucestershire County Council to install pedestrian crossings.

The county council has said while it understands the concerns, it is not currently feasible to install crossings.

Rachel Van Bosheide, who was at Alvington, said two of her daughters had had “near misses” while crossing the road to get to the school bus.

She said: “Its frightening to think we have to have somebody hit before we have a crossing.”

She said she would like to see a full pedestrian crossing or, at least, the current island made more obvious.

Cllr Chris McFarling, the county and district councillor for Alvington, said he was working with Gloucestershire Highways on the issue.

He said: “The criteria are the number of people crossing and the length of time people have to wait, so rural areas will never get a crossing.

‘‘The question that needs to be asked is: “Would I let my child cross this road unaccompanied?

“We have a major A road through our community and that’s true across the county.

“If we get a crossing here, they will be asking for the same across the county.”

Vice-Chair of Alvington  Parish Council, Richard Heys said: “We’ve had two fatalities in the village in living memory, we are not looking for a third.”

At Aylburton, district councillor Mark Topping said: “More than 10,000 vehicles pass through these villages on the A48 every day, but there is nowhere for residents to cross.

“Vulnerable people are taking their lives in their hands every day, dodging through heavy traffic. 

“It’s just common sense that we need safe places to cross.

“The county council talks as if a safe crossing is an added luxury when it should be a basic requirement.”

Cllr Simon Phelps, the chair of Westbury Parish Council, said: “It’s difficult for parents to cross the road to get to the school.

“The cost of a crossing is between £75,000 and £100,000 but that is far cheaper than the emergency services coming to an accident. 

“I’m told by a member of the Forest of Dean Road Safety Partnership that a fatality can be in excess of £1 million.

Kathryn Haworth, assistant director for highways and Infrastructure at the county council, said: “We understand residents’ concerns about the number of vehicles passing through their villages and that they would like to see more pedestrian crossings in their area.

“We look at a range of criteria when deciding if a pedestrian crossing would be suitable, including reviewing traffic data, carrying out pedestrian surveys and site assessments, and have found it is not currently feasible to install a crossing here. 

‘‘However, we will continue to work with the local community to monitor the situation.”