A BLIND man says he has to give up trying to cross a main road because it is so busy. He says a proper crossing is needed.
Stewart Hepplestone, 55, of Burcote Drive in Outlane, claims his life is at risk every time he tries to cross New Hey Road in the village with his guide dog, Upton.
Sometimes his attempts to cross the road to reach the Post Office, shops or pub are fruitless and he gives up and goes home.
Mr Hepplestone, a former Kirklees councillor, said:
"I have stood for 10 minutes sometimes and then gone back home.
"The responsibility to cross the road is mine, not Upton's.
"I have to be certain that when I send Upton forward I am not going to be knocked down."
He said a mobility specialist had advised him not to try to cross the road because it is too busy.
Mr Hepplestone wants some kind of clearly marked crossing on the stretch between the Waggon and Horses pub and the Old Golf House Hotel.
Mr Hepplestone said that if he goes to his local pub The Swan for a drink, the landlady always comes out to help him across the road.
"She has to tell me when it is safe to cross, it has got so bad," he said.
Mr Hepplestone, pointed out that crossing New Hey Road was even more difficult for the blind because of the constant noise from the nearby M62 motorway.
"If I stand at the side of the road I have to hear silence before I can cross it," he said.
"But there is always the noise from the motorway traffic in the background."
Mr Hepplestone said that Upton was nearing retirement and he may have to go for six months without a dog at all.
He has been training to use an extended white stick to tide him over until he receives a new dog.
Mr Hepplestone is hoping to launch a petition calling for a new crossing.
A Kirklees Council spokeswoman said Mr Hepplestone had not made a formal request for a crossing.
"There is a scheme being investigated at the moment to provide some pedestrian islands along New Hey Road, but unless we know exactly where Mr Hepplestone wishes to cross it is difficult to say whether or not these will help," she said.
"It would help if he would tell us the location he has in mind.
"At some points along New Hey Road, it is difficult to place islands due to the number of private accesses and forecourts.
"Siting pedestrian islands is inherently difficult in areas such as these where vehicles need to get to off-street parking facilities."
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