Pedestrian works move a step closer

LONG-overdue development of Market Rasen town centre’s pedestrian access is set to be complete in under a year.

When the Tesco store was built in blah street five years ago, planning permission was granted on the understanding that a pedestrian link between the supermarket and town centre would be built at the company’s expense.

Tesco have now given £50,000 for the following to be constructed:

l A footpath around the car parking area on the Oxford Street/ Chapel Street corner

l A traffic free area under the Station side of the Chapel Street railway bridge

l A road crossing across Chapel Street by the Chapel.

A new one way traffic priority system will be introduced under the railway bridge and parking restrictions along the north side of Chapel Street by the station.

But last week Market Rasen Deputy Mayor told councillors this part of the scheme would only cost around £30,000, leaving £20,000 to be spent on other pedestrian improvements.

He said: “We have written to residents of the area to inform them the work will take place and to contact the town clerk if they have any concerns.

“And if we want to use money for other projects they can still be brought up.”

Some of the suggestions already put forward for the extra £20,000 are a footpath alongside the embankment from Chapel Street to the Tesco bus stop area and a pedestrian crossing across Oxford Street towards the Serpentine Street junction.

The work is scheduled for February/March 2012 and will involve road closures for approximately five days.

Another use for the £20,000 put forward by the town council was to implement a pedestrian crossing at the Oxford Street crossroads, which residents have long campaigned for.

But since the council’s meeting last week the Rasen Mail has learned that the Oxford Road crossroads scheme will be completed anyway, and paid for by Lincolnshire County Council’s highways department.

Coun Burt Keimach, who represents Market Rasen on the county authority, said: “This is good news, I know it has long been awaited in the town and I understand the work will be done before the end of the financial year.”

Mayor Ken Bridger has long campaigned for a pedestrian crossing at the crossroads and last year collected hundreds of resident signatures to present a petition to the county council in favour of the scheme.

He said: “It just shows if you keep pushing and they know you’re not going to give up you can get there in the end.

“The lights are ancient, they need refurbishment, it makes sense they stick the crossing in while they work on them.

“It’s the swimming pool next then.”