Colne mum continues road safety fight

Nicola Birtwell is campaigning to improve road safety on Keighley Road for local school children.
Nicola Birtwell is campaigning to improve road safety on Keighley Road for local school children.

A mum determined to see school routes made safer for Colne children is continuing her fight.

Nicola Birtwell, of Venables Avenue, is urging Lancashire County Council “to act now before its too late” - after handing in a 300-strong petition in December.

The 43-year-old, who runs her own business Pamperology, is concerned that students are being put at risk by busy roads and a lack of crossings. And she is particularly worried about the walk to Christ Church Primary School, which involves Keighley Road and Cotton Tree Lane.

She said: “I think now is the time that actions were put into place as soon as possible to ensure that there isn’t a fatality. I know only too well from the past seven years of having to make this twice daily trip to ensure my children can access their education, that it is an accident waiting to happen.

“To me it’s a total disgrace that only areas where there has actually been a serious accident, will then be given a top priority. As I’ve stated before a road crossing put in later will be no condolence to a local grieving family.”

Mrs Birtwell has been corresponding with director of Lancashire Highway Services Phil Barrett, who has told her that funding has been allocated for improvements at the junction of Skipton Road and Keighley Road. He also informed her about a road safety education programme run within schools, and how LCC “constantly review the information available to us with respect to accidents that occur”.

Now the mum, who is supported by Coun. Ann Kerrigan, wants to know how allocated money will be spent, and how improvements will be made to Cotton Tree Lane.

Responding Alan Capstick, highways manager for Pendle, said: “We’re always working to improve pedestrian routes and have an ongoing programme to fund new schemes. Elsewhere in Pendle we’re currently taking forward proposals for pedestrian crossings on Every Street and Barkerhouse Road in Nelson.

“We continually assess which of the best-used pedestrian routes are most in need of safety improvements, and receive many additional requests for better facilities on top of this.

“We have considered the requests for additional pedestrian facilities on Keighley Road and Cotton Tree Lane and made an analysis based on our knowledge of the area and the accident record. We could not justify introducing full pedestrian crossing facilities at these locations, however we will carry out a site inspection to see if there are particular difficulties in crossing which could be improved with lower cost measures.”