A NOTORIOUS junction in Petersfield could be “beautified” as part of a bid to put the brakes on speeding drivers.
The blueprints for a safer Pulens Lane were due to be shown to town councillors this week or the next in a meeting behind closed doors.
The long-awaited proposals by highway engineers are evidence-based and follow months, if not years, of calls for action due to numerous accidents and near misses.
The plans, which will soon go before the public, were touched upon last Friday, September 1, during a meeting of the Town Development Committee (TDC).
One of the most eye-catching and potentially most problematic ideas is to make a “feature” of the Pulens Lane and Durford Road crossroads.
The corner of Heath Road East and Heath Road could be turned into a standing area reachable from a new pedestrian crossing. It would also create a more attractive entrance to the Heath with new benches and signage being touted.
However, the Heath is also a scheduled ancient monument and any change, however minor, would need the blessing of English Heritage.
Hampshire county councillor, Russell Oppenheimer, has seen the draft plans and thinks the proposal is “worth investigating” but is aware there are issues. He is keen to stress the corner will remain part of the Heath and will not be urbanised.
He said: “It will continue to be The Heath and all we want to do is enhance it.
“It will have an impact on traffic and maybe we’ll put a bench in or some signs. The proposal will create a little standing area and it will be sympathetically done.”
He added: “It’s like a beautification of the junction.”
Even if everything goes to plan work is unlikely to begin on Pulens Lane for around a year due to schedules as councillors have stressed that decisions have to be based on data and evidence, rather than knee-jerk reactions.
“Decisions need to be evidence-based and when people take the trouble to collect real evidence it’s very important,” said a councillor during the TDC meeting.
“We need to bring the people with us and tell them about these complications and all the competing constraints.”