Colne mum Nicola fighting for safer roads

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.

The lives of Colne children are being put at risk every day due to dangerous roads.

That is the message from determined mum-of-two Nicola Birtwell, who is this week launching a road safety petition.

Mrs Birtwell, of Venables Avenue, is concerned that students walking to and from school are put in danger by “busy roads”, “insufficient crossings” and “a lack of crossing attendants”, and wants to see risk assessments carried out on each Colne route.

The 43-year-old, who runs her own business Pamperology, said: “We can’t just keep ignoring this, and we can’t just wait for a fatality to happen.

“This petition is a way of getting Lancashire Highways to listen to us, and we are trying to get as many people to back us as possible.

“It’s not just during school times - there are after school clubs as well. And even though the petition does say for children, it is also for the elderly and the vulnerable.”

According to Mrs Birtwell, concerns were raised with the council three years ago.

Her main fears are based around the walk to Christ Church Primary School, where her children Oliver (11) and Dalton (8) are pupils. She feels that traffic safety measures need to be put in place in Keighley Road, Heifer Lane and Cotton Tree Lane.

She added: “We travel in the car at the moment, because it is so deadly.”

Supporting the petition is Coun. Ann Kerrigan, who agreed that safer routes are needed for children and parents walking to school.

She listed Skipton Road, Byron Road and Langroyd Road as possible areas that should be looked at by the Highways Department, and added: “At the moment, you can’t get across these roads safely.”

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 and, in Colne, a facility to allow pedestrians to cross at the junction of Keighley Road and Colne Road.

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

To sign the petition visit Colne Children’s Centre, Helen Greens Dance School, Christ Church, or Christ Church school reception. Alternatively, ring Mrs Birtwell on 07584317137.

The issue is set to be brought up when Pendle Council meet in full later this month.