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Bus station crossings 'illegal and unsafe’

New zebra crossing at Chatham bus station
New zebra crossing at Chatham bus station


Zebra crossings painted at Chatham's new bus station are illegal
and could lead to injustices in court.

That is the warning of a retired highway engineer with Medway
Council, who spoke this week to criticise the new crossings as a
disabled group raised safety concerns.

Stripes were painted on the road last Wednesday after passengers
claimed the £7 million "dynamic bus facility" in Globe Lane was

Yet David Fulbrook, who worked in the council's highways
department until 2009, said they are illegal without flashing
orange lights.

zebra law

according to the zebra, pelican and puffin pedestrian crossings regulations and general directions 1997, belisha beacons are needed to make a crossing legal and draw attention to it.

these are the orange flashing globes on either side of a zebra crossing, introduced by transport minister leslie hore-belisha in 1934.

the orange balls must be between 27.5cm and 33.5cm wide, and the black-and-white poles they are mounted on must be between 2.1m and 3.1m high.

only dented or unlit globes are allowed under the laws. any other problem, or missing globes, makes the whole crossing illegal.

any new crossings must also be advertised in the local press for three weeks before they are signed off.

The 62-year-old said: "If anybody steps on to that crossing and
gets hit by a bus driver who doesn't stop, some smart lawyer is
going to say: 'Well, the crossing wasn't legal, the person
shouldn't have been there.'

"I applaud the council for doing it, as they have obviously
responded to what the public wanted, but obviously they didn't
think about what they were doing in the first place.

"On balance they have done a very good PR exercise, but if
they're going to do something they should do it legally."

The new terminal replaced the Pentagon bus station and opened last Monday £2million over its original estimate.

Some passengers complained toilets and electronic screens were not running, while others said the station would be cold in winter.

Mr Fulbrook, of Broadway, Gillingham, worked for the council for

40 years and said he probably helped build every crossing in


Derek Lynch, chairman of the Medway Access Group for disabled
residents, said: "They should put in Belisha beacons for a start,
but my big problem is still safety. The road markings are there,
but I do not expect they will install pedestrian control lights for
partially-sighted people, as it would interrupt the flow of

A Medway Council spokesman said: "Pedestrians are crossing at
the correct places, we have speed bumps in place and visibility for
buses and pedestrians is very good.

"We have dropped kerbs and tactile paving for people with visual
impairment and staff are on hand to help in the information

"This contrasts sharply with the old bus station, which had no
working crossings, was dark and dingy and could only be accessed
after 7pm by a winding staircase or the ramp used by buses."

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