Schoolgirl knocked down: parents’ crossing plea

Padiham Road, Burnley. Photo: Google

Padiham Road, Burnley. Photo: Google

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Anxious parents claim that a pedestrian crossing on a busy Burnley road is in the wrong place – after a schoolgirl was knocked down nearby.

The accident occurred at 3pm last Wednesday in Padiham Road, Burnley, close to the Whitegate petrol station.

Thankfully, the girl only received minor injuries, but the accident prompted a flurry

of claims from angry parents that more needed to be done to improve safety for children on that stretch of road.

A number of schools are located in the area including Shuttleworth College, Burnley High School, St Joseph’s Park Hill and Padiham Primary School.

One resident said: “It’s manic around there at home time. The crossing that was put in is in the wrong place in my opinion. It is hardly used.”

Another parent, writing on the Burnley Express Facebook page, said she had had a number of “near misses” when picking her son up from school.

Lancashire County Council, which has responsibility for highways, confirmed there was a record of pedestrian injuries on Burnley Road and said it would carry out an assessment.

Clare Farrer, highways manager for Lancashire County Council, said: “We are very sorry to hear of this incident and wish the girl well with her recovery. We will consider the police report into the circumstances.

“There are a number of controlled crossings on Burnley Road which are located near the schools and other facilities where high numbers of people want to cross, along with pedestrian refuges along the length of Burnley Road to help people cross safely in other places.

“However, there is a record of injuries to pedestrians on Burnley Road and we will carry out an assessment to look at the scope for improvements which may help to prevent future incidents.”

The Department for Transport has just published its Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain Annual Report for 2014.

It shows 1,775 people died on the nation’s roads (a 4% increase on the year before) while 22,807 more were seriously injured (a 5% annual increase).

Road safety charity Brake believes the reintroduction of ambitious casualty reduction targets, axed in 2010, must be a key first step in an urgently needed fightback against road danger. Pedestrian deaths rose by 12% to 446, accounting for three quarters of the overall rise in fatalities.

Serious injuries to cyclists rose by 8% to 3,401, continuing a long term trend that has been ongoing since 2004.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: “We should be under no illusions as to the seriousness of these figures.

The government needs to get a grip of this situation, and it can start by reintroducing ambitious casualty reduction targets, with an ultimate aim of reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads to zero.

“We know from running our helpline for devastated road crash victims that every road death causes unimaginable human suffering, and every one is preventable.

“The increases in serious casualties among pedestrians and cyclists are especially horrifying, given the importance of protecting vulnerable road users and enabling people to walk and cycle more.”