Peterborough’s busiest crossing is a magnet for accidents

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

Another day, another horrible accident at the Bourges Boulevard/Bridge Street pedestrian crossing.

Anyone who uses it whether on foot, bike or in a vehicle knows it is an accident waiting to happen.

In the latest incident a cyclist was badly injured after a collision with a lorry.

The exact circumstances are not known but on the wider issue of the safety of the crossing it matters not whether either, neither or both parties were at fault.

A pedestrian crossing should increase safety not be a magnet for accidents.

People will always make mistakes, what the authorities have to do is to make sure as far as possible that those mistakes are not the last ones people make.

Cllr Peter Hiller, the cabinet member responsible at Peterborough City Councillor, says engineers are to look at safety at the crossing.

But, as a few months back, when talking about road safety there, he commented that nobody had been “ploughed into” from his memory, don’t hold your breath.

The simple fact is the urban “planning’’ was a disaster. Whoever thought having a busy dual carriageway dissecting the city’s main shopping street was a good idea?

That is not the fault of the current council, but it is its responsibility now.

The council recently did an excellent job on Bishop’s Road which involved relocating a similarly dangerous crossing.

That may well not be possible in this case, but it needs to come up with a solution, and quickly, because delay could prove to be fatal.

Figure that out

I am as annoyed as Peterborough City Council leader John Holdich that the city is getting short changed big time by central government.

Cllr Holdich has revealed that London councils receive £563 per person but Peterborough gets a measly £392.

There is one difference between Cllr Holdich and me – he is a card carrying fully paid up member of the Tory Party. I’m not.

That’s the same Tory Party that formed the same government that is short-changing this city.

I smell a rat

A few weeks ago I suggested the city council’s CCTV wasn’t fit for purpose?

That thought was a response to the lack of charges brought after a knife rampage across the city centre.

This despite police arresting six people and stating they weren’t looking for anybody else.

My column attracted a snooty comment from someone along the lines of “who on earth mentioned CCTV.’’

Nobody had. Except me.

Just as nobody mentioned the CCTV wasn’t working near the scene of two terrible sex attacks in Peterborough, until the PT got a tip-off.

It turns out rodents had chewed through the cables.

So I was right. The CCTV in the city is not fit for purpose.

Surprisingly, the city council can’t say how long the five cameras had been out of action. You and I might think the screen would have gone blank, the problem noted and a repair planned. It seems not.

All is not lost though because the city council is “in the process of addressing this’’.

Phew, we can all sleep soundly in our beds (albeit at some unspecified point in the future when the council has finished “addressing this’’).

I told you so

It came as no surprise to me, and I’m sure not to most PT readers, that controversial plans to build thousands of new homes near the leafy and affluent villages of Castor and Ailsworth, have been axed.

Back in February I wrote: “Back in the day of the development corporation the village was earmarked to be a township. Those plans were fought and the residents succeeded and I don’t doubt they will again. It never harms to have wealthy and powerful people in your camp.’’

You can call me Mystic Nige!

Pump it up

I try and avoid being a stereotypical Yorkshireman. I can therefore deny rumours (started by Mrs T) that I took the family on a half-term break to Norfolk so I could fill up the car with cheap fuel.

But I have to admit that finding fuel 7p a litre cheaper than inPeterborough was a nicer surprise than the sunny weather. Over the years the Telegraph has done many stories about high fuel prices in Peterborough without ever getting a satisfactory answer– being the furthest place from oil refineries is not in my view a satisfactory answer.

I think our MPs Vara and Onasanya should investigate why their hard working constituents are getting ripped off.

Diary Of A Bad Dad

You just can’t trust the British weather. Last week for half-term the family Thornton headed off to the North Norfolk coast for some character building/ child cruelty.

“Our kids are too soft,’’ I told Mrs T, they need a few days on a beach in sub-zero temperatures with driving rain and biting winds.

“After all,’’ I claimed, “It didn’t do me any harm when I was a kid.’’ (Apart from turning you into a sadistic psychopath – Child Friendly Ed.).

“Let’s take them to Norfolk for a few days, then,’’ said Mrs T.

And what happens? The sun comes out, and we spend days on the beach basking like seals as the sun shone down with barely enough wind for the kids to fly their all singing, all dancing £4 kite.

“British seaside holidays are supposed to be tests of endurance for children,’’ I ranted. “Bridlington, Filey, Scarborough,’’ I reeled them off like campaign medals.

“Next year, we’re off camping. That’ll wipe the smile off their faces.’’