New surgery will move road issue to other busy area

What about us?: Residents and councillors of West Paddock want a pedestrian crossing installed on the busy road, especially with a new surgery set to open there in April
What about us?: Residents and councillors of West Paddock want a pedestrian crossing installed on the busy road, especially with a new surgery set to open there in April
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Moving 5,000 patients from one Leyland surgery to another will not solve the town’s traffic problems, it has been claimed.

The Guardian last week reported that doctors from Sandy Lane surgery are set to open a new GP practice in West Paddock this April, in an attempt to combat years of traffic issues at the existing site.

But people have now claimed that the move will make life more difficult for residents living near to where the new Leyland Surgery will be located, on West Paddock.

Councillors for the Leverhouse ward, Fred Heyworth and Tony Kelly, have been campaigning for a pedestrian crossing on the busy road for months, following complaints from pensioners that they struggle to cross it.

Now, with 5,000 patients set to be transferred from Sandy Lane to West Paddock in three months’ time, they’re worried that pensioners living in the sheltered accommodation at Jubilee Court will suffer even more.

Coun Heyworth said: “Opening a new surgery in West Paddock will make things far worse for people in the area than it already is.

“We’ve been told that we can’t have traffic calming measures or a pedestrian crossing because the ‘pedestrian count’ doesn’t justify it, but I think that’s nonsense.

“I know that data from the SPIDs (Speed Indicator Devices) show that a lot of people drive at more than 30mph down West Paddock; surely that has to be taken into consideration too?”

Coun Heyworth contacted Lancashire County Council (LCC) last summer, because elderly residents said there wasn’t enough time for them to cross the road before more cars came along, as it’s so busy.

They campaigned for a pedestrian crossing, such as a zebra or pelican crossing, but have had no luck.

“The residents feel very let down,” Coun Heyworth said. “But we have not given up the fight just yet.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s not going to be a case of ‘if’ an accident happens, but rather ‘when’.

“How bad does it have to get before something is done?”

He said that the refurbishment of LCC’s Crossways day care centre building on West Paddock, set to be complete in March, will also add to the issue, especially once Leyland Surgery opens in April.

Coun Kelly said: “The surgery opening will definitely exacerbate the problem.

“It’s bad enough at Sandy Lane, and it just seems as though they’re moving the issue from one part of Leyland to another.

“We’ve been trying for ages to get something done about West Paddock, because people have to cross the road to get the bus, reach the council buildings or go to the town centre.

“It seems unfair.”

He added: “The doctors are doing their best, but it won’t help the residents here.

“I don’t think a zebra crossing is much to ask for, and it would make such a big difference.”

But Lancashire County Council has confirmed the addition of the surgery does not mean a pedestrian crossing is now on the cards.

Rachael Crompton, highways manager at LCC, said: “We are working closely with the police to ensure drivers stick to the 30mph speed limit on West Paddock in Leyland.

“This should ensure that the number of accidents and injuries remains low.

“We have also looked into the possibility of installing a zebra crossing.

“However, because of the low numbers of pedestrians using the area compared to other priority areas, we are not planning to construct a crossing here at this time.”

- What do you think about the traffic issues and plans to open a new surgery on West Paddock?

Email your views to kay.taylor@lep.co.uk or guardian.newdesk@lep.co.uk, or call the newsroom on 01257 264911.