COUNCIL chiefs have taken action to improve safety at a street market where a bus collided with a boy.

Winchester city bosses have ordered changes to where stalls are allowed in the lower High Street so drivers and pedestrians have a better view of each other.

From today stalls must be clustered together in small groups. Barriers and signs will be installed in the gaps to encourage people to cross safely.

The changes follow a meeting yesterday between the city council, county council, police, Stagecoach bus company and the market reviewing safety measures.

Cllr Vicki Weston, the city council’s planning and transport supremo, said: “The market makes a valuable contribution to the economic vitality of the city centre and it is important that any changes we make are appropriate and seek to improve safety. Together with our partners we will closely manage the arrangements and keep the situation under review.

“Our thoughts remain with those involved in the accident and we hope that the young boy involved makes a speedy recovery.”

The boy was airlifted to hospital after the collision with the Stagecoach number three bus on Friday, January 25.

Winchester MP Steve Brine said he was pleased to see the council take action.

He said: “I’m really pleased the wakeup call of the accident has been heeded. We will have to see how this works out and I will be interested in feedback from residents but the city council has taken sensible precautionary action and deserves credit for that.”

Stagecoach South managing director Andrew Dyer, who was also at the meeting, said: “I think this will mean a significant improvement. It means that the point where anybody crosses the road is far enough away from the stalls that any driver coming past will have a better line of vision and will be able to see pedestrians, which was our main concern following the accident.”

He added that he saw no need to change the bus route.