A PETITION for a pedestrian crossing to safeguard users of a busy community centre has been handed in.

Hexham Community Centre, based in Gilesgate, is asking Northumberland County Council to consider introducing a safe crossing outside its building.

A petition with around 500 signatures was handed to Tynedale Local Area Council on Tuesday by the centre’s chairman of trustees Steve Ball, who also sits on Hexham Town Council.

The centre is used by various organisations, including a playgroup rated outstanding by Ofsted, an art club, a taekwondo club, a luncheon club and both Weight Watchers and Slimming World groups.

Mr Ball said a crossing would make the road safer for all that used the centre, and for all prospective residents of the flats currently being developed at the neighbouring former swimming baths.

He said: “The community centre is used by many vulnerable groups as we have a lot of young people using the playgroup and a lot of older people too.

“Going from one side of the busy road to the other by crossing through parked cars is unacceptable.

“We are in favour of the development of the swimming baths and we are pleased it’s going ahead, and we want to work alongside the contractors and developers so we are trying to convince the county council to put this crossing in to make Gilesgate very safe.”