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Driver caught at 97mph in village plagued by speeding

Written by on January 15, 2022

Residents battling against dangerous driving in their Lancashire village after a spate of horrific road crashes outside a primary school are demanding action from highways bosses.

Their warning comes after a series of horrifying crashes near to Ribby with Wrea Endowed Church of England Primary School, including one where an elderly cyclist was taken to hospital after being knocked down on Station Road at the junction of Ribby Road last November.

The smash came only weeks after a crash where a car came off the mini roundabout and careered into the school wall around the time of a school disco – which followed an identical accident only three weeks previously when a car flew off the same roundabout into the same wall.

READ MORE: Wrea Green cyclist in his 70s taken to hospital after crash with car outside school

At Wednesday’s meeting (January 12) of the Wrea Green Traffic Safety Concern Group, set up in the aftermath of the crashes, campaigners said speed indicator (SPID) devices had picked up cars ripping through the village at speeds of up to 97mph – and still nothing was being done to tackle the dangers.

One resident, who gave his name as Karl, said one car had been zooming down 20mph Ribby Road at 60mph over New Year, while he’d seen many others doing over 45mph and most drivers at least 10mph over the speed limit.

He said: “I saw someone doing 60 mile per hour the other week, and there were people doing 45 last week; most drivers were doing 30mph. The people that think they can do 97mph – what speed do they think they can do during the rest of the day? Potentially, these are the same people that are doing 50 mph around the school. At the moment, there’s no speed enforcement in Wrea Green.”

But some campaigners thought those driving at lower speeds at peak times were more of a worry.

Chairperson Samantha Payne said: “I think the top speeds are the rare instances, and they’re shocking and they’re awful, but the bigger problems might be the 40mph at 4pm when school children are leaving and people aren’t paying attention at the roundabout, and they’re hitting somebody at 40mph.”

Campaigner Bev Nickson voiced frustration at the fact that things had still not moved on, despite politicians and highways bosses publicly pledging action only weeks ago after the latest accident outside the school.

She said: “It’s not our job to do other people’s jobs. They said they would discuss issues over road safety in Wrea Green, because there was unrest in the community about road safety, and they promised to take it to the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership. Absolutely no dates have been given.”

Other concerns that were raised included faded road signs and confusion over rights of way at the mini roundabout black spot, although residents welcomed newly installed rumble strips on Ribby Road. Campaigners said they wished for highways bosses to return to Wrea Green and requested representation at the next highways meeting.

Other suggestions included working with other communities beset with similar issues, such as Weeton and Elswick, bin stickers, leafleting and a promotional campaign aimed at upcoming village events.

Now, campaigners have asked for volunteers to become admins of their Facebook group and want people to attend their meetings.

Samantha Payne added: “The group is spurred on by the positive comments from supporting villagers and we encourage more people to get involved with the meetings and add their voices to the campaign. The bigger the resident collective voice, the harder it is for the authorities to brush the issue under the recently laid rumble strips. We are encouraging community action. We are calling for action for the Facebook group and asking people to come to the meetings and attend. We need to show the authorities that we are just not going to go away.”

A spokesperson for Lancashire County Council said: “In response to local concerns about recent incidents at the mini-roundabout we 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.

“Members of our Road Safety Team have also met with the school, and visited to see at first-hand the traffic conditions at the mini-roundabout. The information we have gathered from the police about the collisions which have been recorded is that they are likely to have been caused by driver error, including not looking properly and failure to give way. We are now designing additional signing and road markings which will be aimed at increasing driver awareness of the need to manoeuvre safely at the roundabout.”

Lancashire Police was contacted for comment.

  • To find out more about the Wrea Green Traffic Safety Concern Group, click here.

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