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ThursdayJune102010 Herald 

NEWS COLLEGE: Campaign seeking safer avenue crossing

STAFF and students at Harlow College have begun a campaign to improve the safety of the pedestrian crossing on Velizy Avenue, supported by the Herald.
There has been increasing concern for the welfare of students using the crossing, particularly those with learning difficulties, following a series of near-misses and the death of a student a few years ago. Users of the crossing have seen a number of problems including; a slow response time once the button is pressed; a short crossing time; and a lack of road signs telling motorists that there is a crossing ahead. College principal Colin Hindmarch said: The crossing might well be suitable for a road of this type with limited pedestrian traffic. However, given the large volume of students who must use it every day, it is inadequate and potentially dangerous. It poses a particular risk to those of our students who have limited mobility, or who cannot, for whatever reason, quickly discern when it is safe to cross. For these students, the road is particularly hazardous. The college has proposed four main measures it would like to see

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THE concerns surrounding the safety of the pedestrian crossing at Velizy Avenue are not new. I went to Harlow College in 1993-94, when the facilities were spread across two sites the other being in Playhouse Square. This meant students were forced to make the trip across Velizy Avenue for their next lesson, to visit the library or simply to meet friends. Back then there was no bus lane, so traffic raced down the southbound carriageway. We knew it was dangerous, but it was still a shock when a student died at the crossing. Those of us who witnessed the scene will never forget it. When I visited the crossing on Friday, I was amazed at how little it had changed. The southbound side is by far the worst. Fast moving traffic appears suddenly over a crest which is obscured by hedges in the central reservation. It takes too long for the lights to turn red, and when they do there is not enough time to cross before the green man starts flashing. Its time to act before we see another accident.

implemented which they believe are quick and cost effective. These are: l Reduce the speed limit on the approach to Harlow College and ensure that there are warning signs and traffic calming measures. l Improve the response-time of the traffic lights to the pedestrian push-button. It currently takes around 40 seconds. l Extend the crossing time. Very often there are lots of students wanting to cross at once and the current time allowed to cross the road is completely inadequate. l Cut back the hedge in the central reservation, which obscures pedestrians view of the road. The Student Union has now circulated a number of petitions, which it hopes to present to both Harlow Council and Essex County Council next month. A copy of the petition is available at the college reception for people to sign. Harlow MP Robert Halfon is also backing the campaign. He said: Im really pleased to support road safety on Velizy Avenue. Im working closely with Harlow Council, but this is an

Fromleft:PaulineLeggett(headofstudentsupport);SimoneWebb (studentunionsecretary);BarryHunt(Heraldeditor);BrigitJaansoo (studentcouncil);ColinHindmarch(HarlowCollegeprincipal);and RobertHalfonMPPicture: MICHAEL BOYTON (MEB_040610_Crossing) Essex issue and I will be working hard to persuade them to make this road much safer, particularly the traffic lights, as students safety is absolutely paramount. I congratulate the Student Union and the college for doing so much to change this. With the new Leisurezone complex due to open this month and work on the Anglia Ruskin complex to start, an increasing number of pedestrians will be using the road. An outline planning application for a footbridge over the carriageway was agreed in 1996 under a section 106 agreement when the college moved its west site to merge with the Velizy Avenue location. However, difficulties over the exact location of the bridge footing on the town centre side of the carriageway meant the plan was scrapped.

Barry Hunt, editor

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Police set up website for World Cup

ESSEX Police have entered into the spirit of the World Cup by launching a dedicated section on its website. Visitors can get up-to-date scores, fixtures and news on their favourite team as well as finding out what the force is doing to keep fans safe. The website will also inform visitors about the rumours about Essex Police banning supporters from wearing football shirts in pubs, share plans for policing the county during the tournament and reveal how they are working with licensees to prepare for one of their busiest periods of the year. The web pages highlight the message that Essex Police wants everyone to enjoy the World Cup for what it should be a safe family event and will take tough action against those who cause trouble or commit crime. Chief Supt Tim Stokes said: Theres a guarantee that if you commit disorder we will deal with you at the earliest opportunity and pursue you through court. The World Cup is an event that weve policed on a number of occasions and were very experienced at it now. It will be a good tournament to watch and I encourage people to make the most of what is one of the safest counties in one of the safest countries in the world. The World Cup is not however a time for celebration for everyone and Essex Police acknowledges that sadly incidents of domestic abuse may increase during this time. Visitors to the website can also find information on reporting domestic abuse, how the police can help men and women living in fear and contact details for organisations throughout Essex that can offer counselling and support. The website can be found at www.




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Thursday June 10 2010 HERALD 5

Hospital chief executive goes
THE chief executive of the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust has stepped down after more than three years in the post. Chris Pocklington (pictured) was the trusts director of operations for four years prior to becoming chief executive. He said: I have had many happy and rewarding years at PAH and have built up many warm working relationships with colleagues across the organisation. During the past three years we have made important operational and financial strides for which we should all be proud. But I believe the time is right for somebody else to build on our achievements and take the organisation forward to the next stage. This has not been an easy decision, but I feel the time is right for a fresh approach. I wish everyone at PAH well for the future. The vacancy will be formally advertised later in the year, but in the meantime the trust plans to appoint an interim CEO this week. Trust chairman, Gerald Coteman said: I would like to thank Chris for his leadership over the past few years which has been instrumental in turning the organisation around. PAH is now recognised for providing a consistent, quality service.

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A414: Safety fears over traffic in Potter Street

PEOPLE in Potter Street have voiced concerns about the amount of traffic going past their homes due to the roadworks on the A414.

Clean streets award for town

HARLOW has been deemed to have some of the cleanest streets in England, according to latest figures. Data from the National Audit Commission highlighted in a report by the GMB ranks Harlow as one of the top areas in 2008/9 for the per centage of streets having the lowest levels of detritus and litter. Just one per cent of streets in Harlow had unacceptable levels of litter, the second best performance in England. For both detritus and litter Harlows performance was joint fifth in the Eastern Region and in the top 11 per cent best performing areas in England.

the speed at which some vehicles are travelling down London Road, which has a 30mph speed limit. Its frightening as a lot of elderly people live around here, he said. I also had a near-miss with a car the other day. The police have been doing their best with speed cameras and school children have been helping too. Id like to see a greater enforcement of the speed limit, even if it is just temporary signs. An ECC spokesman said: Residents concerns about excessive speed on Potter Street have been discussed with the traffic police. They are working with road safety officers from the highway office and have made a number of visits to Potter Street and London Road to enforce the speed limit in both the 20 and 30mph zones. Motorists use London Road and

The long-running scheme to dual the A414 leading to the M11 motorway has caused widespread disruption in the area. Although Essex County Council (ECC) said last week that work is currently ahead of schedule, completion cant come quick enough for residents. John Burton, of London Road, contacted the Herald with concerns over the volume of traffic in Potter Street and London Road as a result of restrictions at Southern Way. He said: Theres 10 times more traffic coming down the road now as people dont want to sit on the A414. But its just moving the problem to the Clock Tower roundabout, which has been blocked for the last three mornings, and there is no-one looking to stop this happening. Mr Burton is also concerned about

Potter Street when there is a perception that there are likely to be delays on the A414. During the improvement of the A414 we are doing what we can to keep a steady flow through the works. The closure of Southern Way east junction with the A414 in the new phase of traffic management has allowed an arrangement that improves the flow of traffic on the A414 both northbound and southbound which should discourage drivers from using London Road. In addition, the A414 southbound traffic now benefits from an additional lane on the approach to Hastingwood roundabout improving flow to the M11 northbound. The project entered its next phase on Monday and traffic movements at the junction of the A414 with Southern Way have been restricted. For the next eight weeks there is no exit or entry to Potter Street and there is left turn only from Southern Way onto the A414.

Boxing lessons
A FREE Get into Boxing campaign is to be launched by Harlow Council on Monday to mark National Mens Health Week (June 14-20). The project, organised with Sportessex and Harlow 2020, is run by Harlow Amateur Boxing Club. The club, on Momples Way, Ladyshot, will be holding free sessions for men and women every Tuesday from June 15 to July 20, between 7pm9pm. No previous training is needed and any level of fitness is welcome. All participants must be over 16 years old, for further information phone 077 2564 3867 or 01279 446435.

Be part of the UKs biggest mass participation cycling event with The Big Bike Ride Event in Harlow During BIKE WEEK!

19-27 June 2010

The fun starts Saturday 19 June, from 1.30pm to 3.30pm Meet: Market Square, Town Centre, Harlow
For more information on Bike Week, contact Helen Offord on 01279 446417 or email

Walk your way to health with Lifewalks Harlow

Every week Lifewalks Harlow offers a choice of group walks, lead by specially trained leaders that range from 1 to 3 miles. the walks start from various points around Harlow with free parking available at the start of the walk. For more information or a copy of the Lifewalks Harlow Diary please contact Sara Morris, Harlow Council on 01279 446403 or Email