A DEVELOPER has sparked anger from villagers after asking planners to drop a condition to install a pedestrian crossing on a busy main road as part of a scheme for 11 new homes.

The planning inspector alllowed an outline appeal to build the homes on grassland beside the A48 in Alvington in 2016, but Alton Homes of Aylburton has now asked Forest planners to drop the crossing requirement.

They claim a traffic safety survey shows that dropped kerbs on either side of the road closer to the centre of the village would suffice to meet a “small increase” in pedestrian traffic, which will include children going to the village’s upgraded play area and people using the bus stop opposite the Globe pub.

But Alvington Parish Council and Forest Council ward member Cllr Chris Mcfarling have objected to the bid, saying the village desperately needs a dedicated crossing on the busy road, which sees up to 11,000 vehicles pass through every day.

Parish council vice- chairman Cllr Richard Heys said there had been “a spate of recent motor collisions” at the junction with Clanna Road where the new homes will be accessed, and a crossing near the junction would mean “improved safety for pedestrians and reduced speed along the A48”.

“Secondary school aged children in the village take a daily bus to and from Wye Dean School,” he said. “Every one of these children therefore must cross the A48, either in the morning or the evening… and currently there is no formal road crossing on the A48 between Chepstow and Lydney.”

Drivers also sped up after exiting the 30mph speed camera zone at the heart of the village, and average speeds of 37mph had been recorded near the junction, he claimed.

In addition, the inspector had allowed the appeal noting that a proper crossing was “essential”.

“Alvington Parish Council fully accepts the planning inspector’s findings, but expects the developer to do the same,” he added.

Cllr McFarling told planners: “The A48 is a most dangerous road and splits the Alvington community…

“With the permission granted to improve and develop the recreational facilities along Court Lane on the eastern side of the A48, children from the western side will want to access them as easily and safely as possible.

“To confirm and reinforce the natural crossing point near the Globe Inn would help reassure everyone, and particularly parents, that they can let their children make their way to the recreational facilities on their own, by foot, now and in the future.

“It is disingenuous to suggest that the inclusion of dropped kerbs in the location proposed, 50 metres back down the road, meets the true intention of the appeal inspector’s condition,” he said.

“One should consider whether, as a parent of a 10-year-old child, one would trust them to walk down to the speed camera location and cross the A48 without any proper zebra crossing because there happens to be a dropped kerb there.”

He added: “The pedestrian crossing must not be a matter of negotiation.”

Former parish council vice-chairman Paul Smooker said a crossing over the A48 was “a long overdue necessity”, with heavy traffic from cars, tractors with trailers and HGVs.

Vehicles frequently broke the speed limit on the northbound section from Swan Hill to just before the speed camera, and a pedestrian crossing would “help slow the traffic considerably”, he said.

It also often took minutes to find a break in the traffic to cross, and an able bodied person then needed more than five seconds to make the other side, while elderly and disabled residents and young families could take longer.

“These areas are extremely dangerous areas to try to cross, especially Clanna Lane-Church Lane, where cars entering the village southbound are often speeding to just before the speed camera, when they brake,” he said.

But Cotswold Transport Planning, who carried out a traffic survey on behalf of Alton Homes, said pedestrian activity at the location was below the formal requirement for a proper crossing, which would be “alien’ to the village environment and “unnecessary street clutter”.

The report adds that their assessment “demonstrates that no formal pedestrian crossing is required and that an informal dropped kerb crossing… is appropriate.”

This was best provided at the least wide part of the A48 and closer to the speed camera zone for safety, it says.