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Kingsbridge accident spotlight on car park danger zone

AN accident in which an elderly woman was knocked down by a car has highlighted deficiencies in the design of a busy Kingsbridge car park, according to one local policeman.
The accident happened on Wednesday March 5 in Fore Street car park. An elderly, visually impaired, lady was walking to meet her husband when she was struck by a vehicle causing her to fall to the floor.
The female driver stopped to help the victim, checking that she was able to move her arms, before telling her that she was a doctor and leaving the scene.
Due to the elderly lady’s failing eyesight she was unable to give police a description of either the car or the ‘doctor’.
The victim was taken to hospital and treated for minor bruises. The incident was said to have aggravated a pre-existing medical condition, but the lady has now recovered.
While police are no longer looking for the driver of the car, the incident does draw attention to how dangerous the car park can be for pedestrians according to PC Vaughan.
He said: ‘The marking of the spaces and where cars are supposed to go is not very clear. Also the space for cars is far too narrow between the parking meter and the bollarded section down to Tesco.
‘You’ve got a lot of people walking to and from the ticket machine and there’s nowhere for them to go. They have to walk in the same area as the cars are using.
‘I’m surprised there haven’t been more incidents here to be honest. I’m sure there’s been plenty of near misses.’
Kingsbridge Town Council have recently approved a plan intended to increase the visibility and safety of pedestrians in the car park.
A new layout will give right of way to vehicles turning left off Fore Street by putting in ‘give way’ markings and signs before the narrowest point next to the public toilets.
This would be accompanied by a 1.2 metre wide ‘virtual footpath’ for pedestrians marked out with a coloured high friction surface and white lines alongside the wall opposite the public toilets.
The improvements would be put in place at the same time as resurfacing work is carried out.
However, according to PC Vaughan it is the lower part of the car park that really needs improving for pedestrians. He said: ‘It might be possible to move the ticket machine, but people have got used to it being here now.

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