Calls to increase pelican crossing times after pensioner dies in Kilburn High Road collision

'Just as people are reaching the middle, the green light stops'

Thursday, 22nd February 2018 — By William McLennan

Margaret Gibbs Kilburn High Road

Margaret Gibbs tests the time provided to cross the road

PELICAN crossings must be overhauled to give more time for elderly people to cross the road, campaigners have said after a pensioner was killed in Kilburn High Road.

The 74-year-old man died at the scene in the collision with a construction lorry at the junction with Brondesbury Road on Monday. Witnesses to the aftermath of the horrific accident have said that safety at the notorious junction must be addressed.

Kilburn Older Voices Exchange, a community group, says it has been calling for crossing safety to be addressed for years, but without any action. Steve Dwyer, who has worked at a stall on the junction for two decades, rushed to the accident scene and placed a construction barrier in the road to stop traffic.

He said: “Older people are scared to cross the road here. It needs fixing.”

Naeem Aslam, whose shop, Cellphone City, overlooks the junction, said: “Just as people are reaching the middle, the green light stops. There should be a minimum of 20 seconds. This is something they can do cheaply. They can just change the timings.”

Investigators at the scene in Kilburn High Road on Monday

Mel Wright, of Kilburn Older Voices Exchange, said: “We have been calling for a longer time at these junctions for a few years and nothing has happened. “It’s disgraceful, really, because it is considered to be a hot-spot for accidents and there have been several fatalities.”

On Tuesday morning, the group carried out a safety test at the junction with Margaret Gibbs, one of their members who has osteoarthritis. Mr Wright said: “She barely got halfway across before the lights were ready for cars to go ahead.”

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence produced guidelines for councils in August last year which said pedestrian crossings may be too fast for elderly people to cross the road safely.

Camden Council said the collision took place on a part of Kilburn High Road that is the responsibility of neighbouring Brent Council.

A spokesman added: “Camden officers are working with Brent officers on a joint project to improve safety along Kilburn High Road, which includes this junction, and we will therefore work with police and Brent to understand the circumstances leading to the fatal collision.”

Met police said the victim’s next of kin were being sought. “The lorry stopped at the scene and the driver identified himself to police,” they added.

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