Power firm blamed for road safety delays

January 26, 2009 10:49 PM
By Brentwood Gazette reporter in Brentwood Gazette
Cllr David Kendall at the new, but unlit, Hartswood Road crossing

Cllr David Kendall at the new, but unlit, Hartswood Road crossing

MEASURES designed to make the town's roads safer are being held up by an electricity supplier.

Vehicle-activated signs which flash when a motorist exceeds the speed limit were planned for several key areas in the borough including London Road and Ongar Road in a bid to reduce traffic casualties.

However, Brentwood council highways committee chairman Cllr Louise McKinlay said the signs are being held up by energy supplier EDF.

And Lib Dem leader Cllr David Kendall says this is just the latest in a string of EDF incidents which have caused problems for the town.

Delays by EDF in Hartswood Road have stopped a zebra crossing being lit and also prevented traffic-calming measures in Western Road being lit initially.

EDF also cut off the power to several High Street shops on a Sunday, just two weekends before Christmas.

Cllr McKinlay said: "I understand EDF are now only accepting orders for the electricity supply once the post and sign are in place.

"There is then a six-week lead-in to the work being programmed by them.

"I cannot understand why they have adopted this approach as it is causing unnecessary delays. As such, I have written to the chief executive of EDF Energy to ask for an explanation."

Cllr Kendall added: "This is an extremely serious and frustrating situation to be in.

"We are waiting for our vehicle activated signs to be installed so that we can make our roads safer and this is all that is holding it up.

"However, the situation that is most worrying at the moment is the unlit zebra crossing in Hartswood Road.

"A number of residents have mentioned that you cannot even see this crossing until you are upon it. I shudder to think what would happen if a child was crossing."

A spokeswoman for EDF said: "We have not changed our policy over the way we deal with these requests and have always asked that signage is in place before we are able to accept an order.

"We are currently looking into the situation but are not aware that so far our area of responsibility has led to an unnecessary delay.

"We were made aware of the Hartswood Road request on December 21, 2008.

"The administrative preparation for this job has been completed and we anticipate receiving the formal commission for this from the council's contractor shortly, so we can then begin the work."