Saturday, 7 July 2012

Asda Island Langley Mill: Safe or Dangerous?

This post is written by a fellow Twitterer (and fairly prolific commenter). He was going to do it as a comment but they sometimes get missed, so I suggested he become a blog author: So, meet dayvee ...


It all started for me on 17th September 2010 when my wife and I was taking our granddaughter out for a walk, well she was in her push chair due to her being only 2 years of age.
Walking along Station Rd heading towards Eastwood we encountered the new roundabout at the junction of Cromford Rd.  Immediately something about the island struck me that this was not a comfortable place to cross to make our way towards Eastwood.
The old zebra crossing had gone with nothing to replace it other than a tactile kerb to give the pedestrian confidence.
There was no other option other than use the opposite side of the road which had and still has no footpath.
I was so concerned that I wrote to Asda, several threads of email were exchanged comprising of many questions aimed mainly at safety including photographs to back up the questions, no satisfactory answers came back.
Communications finished 13th December 2010 and I dare say by more luck than judgement as far as I am aware there has not been an accident involving a pedestrian.
I would like to know if anyone else is aware of an accident on or relevant to the island.

Because of the “Grumpy Old Woman’s BlogSpot” the topic has been revived and it is thanks to Julie that she has allowed me to write, hopefully to raise more local interest in order to highlight safety concerns to the council which in turn they should place pressure or request those responsible to make the roundabout more safe for pedestrians of all capabilities.
(See below in quote the section underlined)

I have recently opened discussions this time with Councillor Kevin Parkinson who appears to have more interest than those in the past.
I forwarded all previous discussion threads including photographs to him asking for the answers to my questions.  He admits that he is not qualified to answer most of them; however he does write in his final thread “Quote”…

To confirm, Asda were responsible for their build which was approved by Amber Valley Borough Council.
As the highway authority we are responsible for ensuring new developers, in this case Asda, fund any necessary road traffic and pedestrian measures that meet the statutory requirements contained in the regulation and best practice available.

In terms of the existing arrangements I am satisfied they meet the regulatory requirements and confirm Asda is a responsible neighbour which is always crucial to secure necessary highway improvements.

Part of the agreement with Asda carried a clause for us to include any retrospective improvements 'should' any new information or persistent concerns occur.

I can assure you, that as local member; I have consistently reviewed the situation around Asda and consulting with our professional officers, remain satisfied.

We all are reliant upon road users and pedestrians observing good high way code disciplines, and the existing highway arrangements very much factored minimising risks.
In terms of the points you outlined, I am not qualified to respond and have asked officers to respond on my behalf.
As I explained, we are currently working with a new developer and are seriously considering our S278 highway requirements to allow that build and fast food operation to occur.

I have a meeting shortly with officers responsible for negotiating these requirements and I will ensure your comments are considered accordingly.
I have also included the Parish Council who should be aware of your concerns.

I have replied to Councillor Parkinson appertaining to the above.
You will see within the above written quote that I have underlined and placed in bold a section where I believe that we the public in numbers could pursue and (for want of a better word), force their hand to make the roundabout more safe for pedestrians to include sound and visual aids.
S278 that Councillor refers to is primarily an agreement between the local authority and developer in respect of what work is to be done, the price and other bits and bobs, not necessarily safety crossing aids.  It may be they were not placed in the contract due to price, which in my opinion is not serving the public well.

Change can only be considered if we have hoards of Langley Millers raising issues of complaint
I would also be happy to read your thoughts and ideas regarding the roundabout.

If anyone is interested in viewing all the questions that has been placed to Asda and councillor Parkinson, also the photographs (to get a feel of where we are with it) I will be only too happy to post them, just let me know. 
Only for fear of boring you is the reason why I have not posted them here and now.
As and when I receive information or updates I will post them.

Many thanks GG

(David Vowles)


  1. I think the main problem is that all pedestrians have lost the safest way to cross Cromford Road by allowing the removal of the zebra crossing and not replacing it with a safe alternative where they have 'right of way'. This crossing was sign-posted to motorists from Eastwood and from the direction of the railway Satation.
    Now you have to rely on ALL motorists 'indicating' their intention as to where they are going and many DO NOT !
    I fear this will one-day cause a serious injury to a pedestrian(s) who miss-judges the decision that a driver is taking and steps out in front of a vechicle that is either turning into Asda or onto Cromford Road.
    When McDonalds is up and running I dread to think of the problems that people on foot will have to endure !
    ALI (Gladstone St)

    1. You are absolutely right Ali, not all motorist consider other road users whether they be drivers or pedestrians.
      We can take some comfort in that most of the general public are reasonably fit and well and are capable of making it from one side to the other.
      My main concern is for those who are not as capable as most, who are not as mobile, those children who think that they are streetwise and take chances, those who have sight impairment, how do they see how far away, what direction and how fast a vehicle is going?

      To add an additional thought to danger which has been pointed out to AVBC, the splitter island which separates the road up to and down from Asda is not wide enough for an adult with pushchair to stand comfortable without the wheels of the pushchair or the heels of the adult hanging over the kerb on roadside. I could go on

      Many thanks for your comment and support, we are of the same opinion on this one

  2. The island is dangerous, many motorists never use indicators and change lanes at will, cutting up other vhicles, especially when exting Asda, starting in left lane, crossing into right lane, the back to left, all just to get to A610. This makes it dangerous to start in right lane to go to Heanor, all without any signals. This is about 50% of vehicles exiting Asda. We give away driving licenses to easily, people drive in their own little world/bubble, to often unaware of other road users.
    The signage on the island is also poor, the layout is different to that shown on signs. This is before the latest junk food barn opens to add to traffic volume.

    1. I agree entirely about people driving in their own little world/bubble, this is what makes life difficult for more responsible drivers. They have to second guess everything else that the moronic element is going to do; as well as concentrating on their own driving.

      Coming from Heanor to Cromford Road is an experience, which lane is safest? Should you go on the left or right? If you go on the left, anyone coming from Asda assumes your going in there (indicating or not) and pulls out on you. If you choose the right lane, by the time your going across (indicating left) to Cromford Road, someone pulling out of Asda is pipping at you as they consider you've cut them up. Maybe another hump nearer the exit to Asda would be helpful but somehow I doubt it.

      Coming from Eastwood to Cromford Road is similar in effect as coming from Heanor with drivers from Asda still pulling out on you.

      Going from Cromford Road to Heanor is dire as the drivers from Eastwood still treat the road as if the roundabout doesn't exist and expect drivers from Cromford Road to wait instead of actually having right of way.

      Coming out of Bridge Street on to Cromford Road is yet another experience, you have virtually no warning of drivers coming on to Cromford Road from Station Road now that the pedestrian crossing has gone and no-one slows down.

      There is a ridiculous extended pavement/corner at the end of Cromford Road onto Station Road to prevent drivers going to Eastwood using a potential extra lane.

      There is a blind spot for pedestrians crossing the road from the 'soon to be McDonalds' with traffic from Eastwood, there is no way you can get across two lanes (to the middle of the road) at the speed the traffic comes around the pumping station.

      I would hazard a guess that the island isn't big enough because when a bus or lorry is on it, virtually ALL traffic has to stop.

      This island is NOT safe and yet the council persists in passing plans for an unwanted and unneeded blubber inducing fast food outlet.

    2. I don’t think for one Nano second that any alterations to the roundabout will take place prior to the commencement of Mc Donalds being built, which I dare say is beyond the point of no return.
      Therefore I think this will be the best time for presenting any case or suggestions that we have to make this junction more pedestrian friendly.
      Alterations will almost certainly take place to the roundabout in order to accommodate Mc Donalds.
      On that thought I wonder if the roundabout could be scrapped/ removed and replaced with traffic lights incorporating the function to make a safe crossing for pedestrians. Similar to the traffic control situation at Eastwood going round the one way system at the (dare I say it GG) ASDA, Sun Inn area which is very pedestrian friendly.
      There are two plus factors with this idea in that there will be more room on the road for drivers without the island, especially HGV and other large vehicles.
      Not only that but the traffic lights will be making the decision for those drivers and pedestrians, who now do not know which direction cars, intend to go. Lane arrow markings will also need to be in place for lane guidance which it isn't clear now!

      If we could come up with a feasible idea or even solution that could be offered to the planning department it is possible they may consider it, it could even be sent to Councillor Kevin Parkinson; after all he was elected to represent the community and he is aware of our situation.
      I am of the opinion that the existing situation was the cheapest option at the time that fell within the required guidelines.
      Is it possible that GG’s blog could be used to get local opinion and ideas; I am not sure or have any experence how to generate the views of the public?

    3. Hi dayvee,

      I think that although traffic lights were in the earliest suggested plans, the probable cheaper roundabout alternative was chosen; totally ignoring any future development that may occur. And since BT have built a chamber for their doings under the island (I think), then it’s unlikely that they’ll do away with it.

      One idea would be to demolish The Mill pub eyesore - with illegal trailer parking - which failed to attain its reserve auction price, then make the island bigger and more usable.

      But I get the impression that we may be flogging a dead horse here, plenty of people have been to view this post, a surprising amount to particularly read the comments, yet still few people want to leave their own.

      Everyone who does leave a comment will remain as anonymous as they like, the nearest I can pin anyone down is to their ISP, web browser, monitor size, the system being used and approximate location - often just United Kingdom and apparently I'm in Birmingham! My statcounter does not give me your name, home address or a map with 'X marks the spot'!

      Come on people, surely someone else is prepared to leave ideas in a comment.

  3. Hey

    Now that you have told us about the BT chamber it is very unlikely as you say GG that anything will be done to the island, that being the case then yes, foresight was not in gear when AVBC gave approval to what we have ended up with and yes the cost would have been balanced against safety requirements which in my opinion are at a minimum.
    I do maintain though that some form of crossing aid is required.
    I have thought of calling on the media to add some weight but my second thought was that, only when something which could have been prevented happens will they get involved.

    Your idea regarding “The (derelict) Mill” would please everyone, in fact if they only pulled it down without development it would do everyone a favour, as previously mentioned I doubt that it will ever be sold as it is. The owner should have an enforcement order to bring it up to a more presentable state.

    I am still holding my breath for answers to my questions from qualified officers whom Councillor Parkinson has asked to respond on his behalf….

  4. I'm not entirely sure where the BT chamber is, I've been looking through the plans to see if I can find it. I know they did it somewhere and I have photographs taken by grumpy, but it's hard to tell exactly where they did it from how the road was then (a mess).

    The island would be a daft place for it but I've known dafter things. It could well be at the end of Cromford Road. Let's hope it's there then traffic lights would be an option.

    1. Entry into the chamber is from the roundabout which spans part of that and the road heading towards Cromford Road.

      Agree about the extra wide pavement outside the Mill pub, only last week saw a car mount that paved area to get around a lorry on the inside, as he was waiting much too long for this drivers patience to wait his turn to go towards Eastwood.

      I fear the demolition of the Mill pub will never happen with the compulsory purchase by AVBC. Can you see all those other Borough Councillors voting to spend £200K+ on a small village pub, when many other voters might think it is a waste of money, with their own area having more important issues to solve.

      ALI (Gladstone St)


      I knew I'd find it eventually. It was in a newsletter from RG Group telling us about roadworks so BT could build the new chamber under the roundabout.

  5. Having received an email earlier in the week from Councillor Parkinson, informing me that the white lining on and around the island is to be removed. He gave me the impression that he was jolly pleased and that the work would be funded by ASDA

    I have made him fully aware that this option is a sticking plaster remedy, a waste of time and money which will not enhance pedestrian safety.
    The public army needs to add their weight and opinions. Send your thoughts to

    and copy in the following


Be nice, I'm very sensitive.