A CONCERNED councillor is calling for urgent action to repair a broken pedestrian crossing amid safety fears.

The crossing at Swan Street, in Sible Hedingham, has become a source of conflict between county and parish councillors.

At a heated meeting of Sible Hedingham Parish Council last week, tensions boiled over with councillors stressing urgent repairs to the crossing’s lights were needed immediately.

It comes after the parish council said it has been lobbying Essex County Council for more than two years to fix the broken lights at the Swan Street crossing.

Sible Hedingham district councillor Jo Beavis said the crossing should have been repaired immediately due to Swan Street’s priority status.

She said: “Sible Hedingham Parish Council and I have been lobbying Essex County Council for over two years regarding the broken crossing lights at the zebra crossing in the centre of Swan Street.

“Swan Street is a priority one road and as such priority must be given to it, ensuring highway defects are repaired speedily.

“Essex county councillor Peter Schwier has reported that the lights cannot be fixed as the parts are still on order.”

The parish council has now written to Essex Highways boss Lee Scott to seek urgent action.

Ms Beavis added: “Following the parish council meeting, Essex County Council has put up barriers stopping people using the crossing the lights have been taped up.

“On behalf of the parish council and residents, I seek an urgent solution to making the crossing safe.

“Since the barriers were installed there have been some very bad near-miss collisions as drivers are unclear of the new bollards and their purpose.

“Sible Hedingham is a busy and vibrant key service village with a large comprehensive school, primary school and other key services and businesses situated in Swan Street.

“This situation is totally unsatisfactory and I, along with residents, are concerned an accident will happen if the road crossing is not suitably repaired and speedily.”

A spokesman for Essex County Council (ECC) said: “Cllr Peter Schwier, ECC member for Hedingham Division, has been working with Cllr Lee Scott, ECC Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport, and Essex Highways to schedule the necessary repairs to the pedestrian crossing in Swan Street, Sible Hedingham.

“Cllr Schwier has responded to resident and Parish Council queries as soon as he has been able to and has been keeping interested parties up to date with the latest on the situation during this process.  

“This crossing was repainted in the summer after Cllr Schwier accompanied Cllr Scott on a visit to the site. Further works to repair the lighting defect at the crossing are now planned and will be completed before the end of the week.

“Essex Highways has apologised to residents for the delay to these repairs.”