Pensioner knocked down on Colne ‘rat run’

Residents Angela Mitchell and Elaine Wells and Coun. Ian Tweedie who are calling for a speed indicator on on Harrison Drive and Birtwistle Avenue.
Residents Angela Mitchell and Elaine Wells and Coun. Ian Tweedie who are calling for a speed indicator on on Harrison Drive and Birtwistle Avenue.

Campaigners have said “enough is enough” after a pensioner was knocked down and left with serious injuries on Colne’s “rat run”.

Eric Judson was unloading his Peugeot 307 on Harrison Drive when he was hit by a Blue Volkswagen Transporter van last Thursday.

He was taken to Royal Preston Hospital, and is now said to be in a stable condition. The 79-year-old, who used to work for Pendle Council, has been described as a man “who does anything for anyone”.

Over the past two years, residents of Harrison Drive and Birtwistle Avenue have been working with Pendle councillors to campaign for more speed indicator devices in the area.

Birtwistle Avenue resident Angela Mitchell, a close family friend to Mr Judson, said: “We are absolutely sick of everyone using this place as a rat run.”

Mrs Mitchell, who describes Mr Judson as “like an uncle”, added: “It is so annoying because we have all been campaigning about this, and then this happens.

“I have four children and it gets to the stage where I don’t want them playing on the streets where lunatics are.”

The speed limit on the “rat run” is currently set at 20mph. But according to Mrs Mitchell, drivers are travelling up the busy road at speeds of up to 50mph.

Coun. Ian Tweedie, who represents the Vivary Bridge ward, added: “I hope the resident makes a full recovery, but the campaign to have SPIDS installed along the route of the rat run continues.

“Both myself and our Lib Dem County Councillor Dorothy Lord have been asking for the SPIDS and we were delighted to see one installed last week at the end of Birtwistle Avenue approaching Sacred Heart Primary School.

“We need SPIDS and better traffic calming all the way along the rat run.”

According to Lancashire County Council’s Alan Capstick, highways manager for Pendle, traffic calming measures and speed indicator signs “are regularly used” along the “rat run”.

However, he added: “Following recent accidents and concerns raised by local people, we will be discussing Birtwistle Avenue and Harrison Drive at the next speed tasking meeting for Pendle.

“We will look to work closely with the police and other partners to see what we can do to tackle speeding traffic in the area.”

Anyone with information on the Harrison Drive incident is asked to contact police by ringing 101.

A public meeting will also be taking place at North Valley Community Centre on August 14th at North Valley Community Centre to discuss speeding in the area.