Residents in a village where vehicles keep careering off roads into walls are warning that ‘someone will be seriously injured or die’ if nothing is done to improve road safety.
Their fears were voiced at a meeting of the Wrea Green Traffic Safety Concern Group which met last night (November 17). The group was set up to campaign for road safety after two cars crashed into Ribby CE Endowed Primary School wall within the space of a month.
In the latest incident at the school in October, a car came off the mini roundabout and crashed into a school wall around the time of a school disco – only three weeks after an identical accident which saw a car flying off the same roundabout into the same wall.
Read more:Wrea Green residents warn ‘tragedy will happen’ after crashes in to school wall
Chairperson Samantha Payne said: “My biggest concern is that someone is going to get seriously injured or die on the roads around the village.”
Resident Beverley Nickson backed her concerns, saying: “My daughter started at the school in September and my concern is the same. Another resident said: “Only this week our front wall has been demolished by an HGV which overshot the junction. It’s hit our wall, demolished an old Victorian stone wall – and driven off.”
Meanwhile, residents expressed concerns over volume and speed of traffic, with many pointing to failings in infrastructure such as pavement structure. poor visibility, lack of safe places to cross and no zebra crossings.
However, data gathered from a roadside device positioned on the B5259 route from May 2020 to October 2021 showed average and maximum speed of traffic as low during the working day, and higher at peak times in mornings and early evenings.
But incredibly, it also showed some individual drivers had hit speeds of between 80 and 90 mph in the 20mph village.
Samantha added: “The maximum speed has hit 80 to 90 miles per hour at times – which I find unbelievably scary.”
Lancashire County Council rejected a request from Fylde MP Mark Menzies to visit the accident blackspot, according to the campaign, while concerned school leaders said they’d also met Deputy Crime Commissioner Andy Pratt.
Now villagers have taken matters into their own hands, with posters urging drivers to slow down made by school children to go on display around the village, and a bid to get funding from local businesses to buy high visibility jackets for residents with a 20mph logo on the back.
But some residents said the onset of winter would only exacerbate the dangers, calling for ‘serious short-term solutions’ such as the railings destroyed by the latest accident being replaced and road markings at the roundabout.
Beverley said: “Come January, it will get very dark and icy. I’m very concerned about the next three months, the visibility, and the weather in general. We need high visibility jackets so basically, we would be acting like mobile speed signs. We all have the same concerns – lots of people in the village have the same concern.”
She warned: “We are not going to go away – we need to make that clear.”
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “Our highways team will be visiting Wrea Green at the weekend to replace the pedestrian guardrails outside the school.
“We have inspected this site in response to the concerns raised by the local community, and have repainted the road markings to highlight the presence of the roundabout to approaching drivers. An electronic sign reminding people to drive carefully was placed near to the site at the end of September, and we have also put up temporary signs to highlight the community concern about vehicle speeds.
“While this location does not have a record of serious injuries, we have met with the school, and have contacted the police, for any further intelligence they may have about collisions which have resulted only in damage to vehicles and therefore don’t appear on our records.
“We are currently assessing all the information gathered about this site in order to consider what more can be done to reduce speeds and improve road safety in Wrea Green.”
The Wrea Green Traffic Safety Concern Group is due to hold its next meeting online on Wednesday, November 24. To find out more or to get involved, visit the group’s Facebook page or email [email protected]
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