Councillor: ‘Why I’m lucky to still be alive’

The crossing on Boston Road where Councillor Dominic Hinkins says he was lucky not to be killed
The crossing on Boston Road where Councillor Dominic Hinkins says he was lucky not to be killed

A second Horncastle town councillor says he was lucky to survive a near death experience – this time while using a newly upgraded pedestrian crossing on Boston Road.

Earlier this year, Coun Richard Barker revealed he hand his grandson were ‘almost wiped out’ by a van mounting a pavement in Bowl Alley Lane.

Now, Coun Dominic Hinkins says he was ‘very nearly killed’ in an incident on the crossing last Tuesday evening, just minutes before the start of a town council meeting at Stanhope Hall.

He told the meeting he narrowly avoided being hit by a van while on the crossing.

Coun Hinkins said: “I was lucky.

“I managed to jump out of the way of the van which then stopped at the side of the road.

“The driver got out and asked if I was OK and I told him to be more careful.

“I was very nearly killed.

“If I’d been a child, I might not have been able to run and jump out of the way.”

Coun Hinkins confirmed it was the second time he’d had a ‘near miss’ on that crossing.

He said: “The first was in daylight when I was wearing a ‘high viz’ jacket.”

Several councillors agreed with Coun Hinkins when he suggested LED lighting at the crossing had to be improved.

Coun Angela Birchall said it was difficult for drivers to see the crossing while heading in the direction of the town centre.

Coun Birchall added: “There’s no lighting. I drove down Boston Road tonight and I couldn’t see it (the crossing).

“I did slow down because I knew the crossing was there but other drivers might not be aware.”

Coun Birchall said, ideally, there should be a lighting on the actual crossing itself – in addition to existing Belitia beacons.

Mayor Coun Fiona Martin lives close to the crossing and said: “No-one dares put a foot on it – unless vehicles have stopped.”

She claimed the crossing was too close to the junction of Boston Road and Mareham Road.

Town and County Councillor Bill Aron said he would raise the issue of the crossing with Highways officials.

A number of councillors doubted whether the county council would spend any more money on the crossing.

While agreeing with other councillors, Coun Mark Everton said safety could be improved by ‘educating’ pedestrians and drivers.

The latest incident comes as the town council agreed to set up a new committee to look into a number of on-going highways issues in the town.

Concerns about the Boston Road crossing have been raised previously.

Earlier this year, a teenage girl was ‘hit’ by a vehicle while on the crossing and required hospital treatment.

Councillors and residents have suggested the crossing should be moved closer to Banovallum School.

There are growing concerns about the safety of pedestrians in a number of areas of the town including Boston Road, Bowl Alley Lane and North Street at a time when an increasing number of vehicles – especially HGVs– is using busy roads.

Richard Fenwick, county highways manager, said: “The Boston Road crossing was upgraded in August and fitted with ‘zebrite’ beacons, which are much more visible to motorists.

“However, we can look at whether any further improvements are required, both at this location and others within the town, in light of the local concerns.”