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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 October 2006, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
14-mile bus trip to cross a road
Nancy Underwood getting off the bus
Nancy Underwood wants a pedestrian crossing in Chideock
A pensioner says she must make a 14-mile round bus trip to the shops - because she cannot cross the road to the post office opposite her home.

Nancy Underwood, 85, who is partly deaf, cannot make it over the bustling A35 road in Dorset quickly enough to beat the traffic.

Instead she takes the bus from Chideock to nearby Bridport before heading back to her house via Charmouth.

She wants the authorities to place a pedestrian crossing in the village.

The Highways Agency remains committed to providing the crossing
Robin Miller

Coming back from Bridport, the bus actually passes through Chideock but because Ms Underwood would end up on the wrong side of the road if she got off, she has to continue for another four miles (6.5km) down the road.

In Charmouth the road is quieter and she feels safe to cross it in order to make the return journey to Chideock.

Ms Underwood told BBC News: "I think it's ridiculous, but this is somehow what's happened here. This is the situation and this is the way I've dealt with it.

Map showing Nancy Underwood's route
Ms Underwood has to catch three buses to get to the shop and back

"It's dreadful. In the summer it's absolutely non-stop with a tremendous number of heavy lorries.

"I find it quite frightening, quite alarming.

"If there was a crossing life would be less worrying. It isn't only for me but a great number of elderly people who quite literally don't try to get across the road they just don't go anywhere."

The Highways Agency says there have been plans for a crossing in the village but those have been put on hold because of an ongoing dispute about who owns the land.

Chideock Post Office
The village shop is only across the road from Ms Underwood's home

Robin Miller, spokesman for the Highways Agency, told BBC News designs for a pedestrian crossing to be placed close to the Spar shop and the Post Office in Chideock were drawn up in January, 2005.

But during the local consultation an objection was lodged claiming that the footway adjacent to the crossing was privately owned.

Mr Miller said the Highways Agency "remains committed to providing the crossing".

"The timing will clearly depend on the outcome of the legal advice and discussions with the owner of the adjacent property," he added.


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