Pedestrians to be given priority over motorists at junction

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , Crime reporter

PEDESTRIANS could be given priority over motorists at a dangerous junction in Bolton town centre.

Highways chiefs at Bolton Council are looking at ways to make the corner of Deansgate and Knowsley Street safer.

News of the proposals comes just weeks after pensioner Anne Knowles died after being hit by a bus at the danger spot.

Cllr Nick Peel, Bolton Council's executive member for highways, said: "We are looking into a number of ways to make the crossing safer.

"Highways engineers have been to look at the junction to see what can be done.

"One possibility is to make the lights a pedestrian priority. This would mean right-of way for pedestrians, with the lights changing if cars needed to pass.

"We are conscious that we do not want to make any knee-jerk reactions, but are committed to making our roads safer."

Mrs Knowles, aged 78, from Egerton, was knocked down by a bus at the junction on March 14. She was taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital where she later died.

There have been a number of accidents at the busy junction, including an incident in August 2006 when a 54-year-old woman was struck by a bus.

The impact threw her into a parked car and she suffered serious head injuries.

Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding Mrs Knowles death. Bus operator, Rossendale Travel, has launched an internal investigation.

Yesterday, shop workers who branded the junction a death trap following the death of Mrs Knowles welcomed the proposals for pedestrian priority.

Janine Heapy, from Gibsons Half-Price outlet, said: "I would glad to see something done at this junction."

Debbie Conway, from Sweetens Bookshop, said: "The road is very difficulty to cross. I would be very pleased if these changes were made."

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