Jan 2 2009 By Steve Still
70-year-old in a coma after accident
A PENSIONER is fighting for his life after being hit by a bus at a notorious junction on Boxing Day.
The 70-year-old man was struck by a single decker bus as he walked across the road in East Acton at the junction of Old Oak Common Lane and Du Cane Road.
He was knocked down at around 10.40pm, suffering serious head injuries, and taken to Charing Cross Hospital where he remains in a coma.
Roads leading on to the junction were closed for several hours while accident investigators inspected the scene.
Campaigners who have fought for years for a safer crossing at the busy traffic lights are now appealing for action from Ealing Council.
A previous system of a mini roundabout with zebra crossings was replaced with a complex set of traffic lights and crossing in 2004, but the change was not welcomed by residents. Some 3,000 people signed a petition the following year asking for the old system to be reinstated.
Campaigner Ken Rosser, who presented the petition to councillors, said: "I saw the bus afterwards parked at the junction. The police had cordoned the junction and were doing their analysis of the accident.
"It's a complicated junction and it's sometimes difficult to see the signals. There are long periods of waiting where nothing seems to happen. People are lulled into a false sense of security and start wandering across, and that's where the problems start.
"There were zebra crossings before and people were quite happy with that. The council changed it to try to do away with congestion but it hasn't done so, it's just forced traffic into the back roads.
"It's really an ongoing issue. The council took the petition and have done nothing about it. They've made no real modification to the crossing at all."
A police spokesman said the man is in a critical but stable condition and is thought to have been crossing the road when he was hit.
Council officers are already working on improvements to the junction and plan to launch a consultation.
Transport leader David Millican said: "I'm terribly disappointed if someone had an accident on that junction, it's extremely sad that should happen. I will ask the officers to brief me so me can take action if required."