Police patrolling dangerous intersection

The intersection of Cranford and Westminster Sts  is now being patrolled by policeto mitigate...
The intersection of Cranford and Westminster Sts is now being patrolled by policeto mitigate safety concerns raised families in the area. Photo: Geoff Sloan ​
Police are now patrolling part of a Christchurch suburb dominated by roadworks in a bid to deter dangerous drivers after months of concern.

Children walking to schools near Cranford St, particularly at the Westminster St intersection, in St Albans feared for their safety as drivers ran red lights and did not follow the 30km/h speed limits.

The community pleaded with Christchurch City Council and local MPs to improve safety, and measures are being put in place to improve driver behaviour.

Christchurch Central MP Duncan Webb has been advocating for the community and wrote to district commander, Superintendent John Price, requesting a police presence on school mornings.

"We are really grateful for the police for responding to our letter - it appears that driver behaviour has improved, it is likely that police presence has contributed to this," Webb said.

"It is fair to say that the road works being undertaken still create a confusing and hazardous crossing, but at least now this acknowledges steps to mitigate the hazards."   

The works were unavoidable to deal with the downstream traffic of the Christchurch Northern Corridor, due to open in January.

The measures being undertaken do not change the road issues but encourage drivers to take more care and pay attention to signage and the road.

The city council also took steps to support residents, providing workers to help with school crossings and not operating loud machinery so pedestrian signals were heard.

"Full marks to the councillors who turned up along with the St Albans School principal to see the issues first hand,” said Webb.

"It is, however, disappointing that these steps weren’t taken until there was a mini protest on the street corner to highlight obvious dangers and shortcomings.”

Canterbury road policing manager Inspector Greg Cottam said concerns were raised with police regarding the safety of pedestrians on Cranford St.

"Since (June), we have increased patrols there to ensure the safety of pedestrians and will continue to do so,” he said.

"This has resulted in changed signage and alterations to the traffic management plan.

"We know complacency can creep in for motorists using roads where there are long-term road works, and we want to remind all motorists to slow down and keep our tamariki safe.”

 

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