This story begins on the A1139 where the Paston Parkway meets the Frank Perkins Parkway. The roundabout serves virtually all of the traffic from the A47 that is heading to the South of Peterborough or beyond to the Southbound A1 or A605 / A14. Being fairly wide and as visibility is usually quite good, traffic can be at a rapid pace if you’re caught unawares and are a bit slow on the old gear change. Generally speaking, it worked and I don’t think there were any more accidents there than were to be expected.
This was fine for years until some bright spark decided it would be a great idea to slap a petrol station on this notoriously busy roundabout, adding an extra entrance/exit between two of the busiest approaches. Not only that, the petrol station became some kind of bastardised Somerfield with a KFC restaurant nestled in behind. It’s probably worth mentioning that the backdrop for this setting is a glorious landfill site which has a fine whiff to it if the air is in the right direction. Mmm fried chicken.
Before you read on, this story is covered much more accurately at the Paston Parkway J8 (Eye roundabout) website so you may find it beneficial to visit that site once you’ve finished digesting my spiel…
Obviously an attraction like this is hard to resist with motorists flocking to their site in their thousands? on a daily basis (probably). But the town planners had failed to anticipate one thing: the desire for residents in the Welland and Dogsthorpe areas to consume Zinger tower burgers and nip to the Somerfield for some groceries – a desire that would see them risking their lives crossing four lanes of fast moving traffic.
Fast forward to today and a campaign is in full force to have a footbridge installed to allow residents their fried chicken fix without risk of walking in front of a moving vehicle.
Whilst it does seem a little OTT just to allow pedestrians to a site that was never intended to serve the pedestrian population, it would be the most practical solution to the problem. Peterborough City Council however laugh in the face of practicality and prefer to make life a bit of an adventure!
You really couldn’t make up the solution the council have decided to opt for: a signal-controlled pedestrian crossing, across the lanes of a dual carriageway (both directions) leading up to and exiting one of the busiest roundabouts in the city’s road network. Just imagine the frustration of motorists as they leave the roundabout at the (I believe) legally permitted 60mph only to find a set of red lights and scores of people crossing with bags of shopping.
Oh, I forgot to add – the site has more recently been redeveloped as some kind of garden centre extravaganza named “Peterborough Garden Park” with Van Hage as the flagship retailer. With space for over 400 cars the developers are hoping for some serious footfall to the site, so why haven’t the council forced the developers to provide the footbridge as part of the deal?
Further reading – Paston Parkway J8 (Eye roundabout)