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A CONTROVERSIAL bid to stop a safe crossing being built on a busy road has been thrown out by councillors.

People have been campaigning for years for a safer crossing on Langstone Road, Langstone, for pedestrians, cyclists and parents with buggies.

Currently, anyone using the popular Hayling Billy trail must cross Langstone Road across an unsignalled central island in the highway and wait for a gap in traffic.

Since 1997, when the cycleway was introduced, Hampshire County Council has promised to install a signalised toucan crossing, which will cost between £80,000 and £100,000.

The county council’s highway authority caused controversy when it applied to remove the planning condition that a toucan crossing had to be provided.

Highway officials said a toucan crossing was not necessary as there had been no safety-related incidents.

But councillors at Havant Borough Council threw out the application at a planning meeting.

Emsworth councillor Brendan Gibb-Gray, who sits on the planning committee, said: ‘To hell with these models.

‘We want the Hayling Billy trail to work and we want it to be safe.

‘It’s only when it’s needed.

‘It’s not as though there are hundreds of cyclists going through there every hour. What sort of trail is it if halfway you have to cross a busy road with traffic?’

He added: ‘It’s another example of the county council making the car king and pedestrians, buggy users and cyclists just having to take pot luck.’

Ray Cobbett, from Emsworth Cycling Club, backed the decision.

He said: ‘Havant council did the right thing.

‘We think it’s basically a money-saving exercise.’

A planning report said there was uncertainty over the new crossing because of impact on the Langstone roundabout.

Highway officials said the condition to have a toucan crossing was preventing the completion of Phase One of the Billy trail, which is almost complete and joins Havant with Hayling Island.

The report states: ‘Satisfactory alternative measures have been implemented.’

The councillors’ decision means the county council is still under obligation to provide a toucan crossing.

Despite calls from The News, no officers were available for comment.