300 back Colne mum’s safer roads petition

ROAD SAFETY: Nicola Birtwell with her petition (S)
ROAD SAFETY: Nicola Birtwell with her petition (S)

A mum who is fighting to make Colne roads safer for school children has collected nearly 300 signatures of support.

Last month, we reported that mum-of-two Nicola Birtwell, was launching a road safety petition in a bid to get stronger traffic safety measures implemented in the town by Lancashire County Council. She is most concerned about Keighley Road, Heifer Lane and Cotton Tree Lane.

A motion was raised and passed at a recent Pendle Council meeting, and was supported by all three political parties. It was agreed that all groups will enter into discussions with LCC to help improve the way Highways issues are dealt with in Pendle.

Mrs Birtwell’s petition, which has been signed by 270 residents, was passed to Pendle Council’s Peter Atkinson for him to give to LCC.

Mrs Birtwell (43). of Venables Avenue, said: “There are many programmes in place for driver awareness but very little infrastructure that allows people to cross the road safely.

“There has been a very positive response to our petition, on both the sheets and our Facebook page.

“The policy of waiting until people are hurt or killed before something is done is not acceptable, road safety should be about preventing accidents, not waiting for someone to be killed and then taking action.

“It will be no consolation to a family that a crossing is put in after their child has been killed .

“This issue has been raised several times in the past, and it is time it was addressed. I’m sure local government funding is used for many good purposes however lets make lives priority rather than a statistic.”

Supporting the petition is Coun. Ann Kerrigan, who believes a safe passage to school for children and parents will increase both physical and mental health. She said: “I am happy that this has happened but concerned that the budget for Pendle is inadequate to deal effectively with the Highways issues that exist.

“There were 270 people from a small area that signed the petition for safer access to schools. My view is that this should be a priority, both for safety reasons and also for health reasons.”

And responding, Alan Capstick, highways manager for Pendle, added: “We’re always working to improve pedestrian routes and have an ongoing programme to fund new schemes.

“We’re happy to consider requests, but will need to assess them alongside other locations which are likely to prioritised for funding if they have a record of injuries to pedestrians.”

For more information visit www.facebook.com/saferroadcrossingsColne