Call for road crossing

Coun John Warnock on busy Hatfield Avenue with Nell Mitchinson, Shelby Bailey and Laini Mitchinson.
Coun John Warnock on busy Hatfield Avenue with Nell Mitchinson, Shelby Bailey and Laini Mitchinson.

Campaigners fear someone could be killed unless pedestrian crossings are set up on Fleetwood’s Hatfield Avenue as soon as possible.

Their calls for two crossings at either end of the road follow two serious accidents there within just a few weeks.

And it is not the first time there has been a campaign for road safety features to be installed.

A previous attempt came close to succeeding when a crossing was finally approved at County Hall in 2011 as part of £80,000 road safety measures – but the scheme never saw the light of day.

Now the most recent accidents have sparked a new campaign.

Last Tuesday a woman had to be taken to hospital after her Fiat collided with another vehicle, close to West View roundabout.

And last month an 11-year-old boy also needed hospital treatment after he was knocked down on the same road near its junction with Broomfield Road.

Campaigners say Hatfield Avenue is particularly dangerous because its long, straight design seems to encourage some motorists to drive down it too quickly.

Given that many children cross the road to get to school and that many pensioners live on the road, there are fears that even more serious accidents are just waiting to happen.

Fleetwood Town Council member, Coun John Warnock, is leading the latest campaign for two zebra crossings.

He said: “These latest incidents - particularly the accident involved the young boy - show that something is needed as a matter of urgency. Next time someone might not be so lucky.”

“Some of the traffic comes down Hatfield at real speed, it is frightening.

“It is hard to understand how there isn’t a single traffic measure in place on a road like this.

“I know that Lancashire County Council, the road authority, is cash-strapped at the moment, but how do you put a price on someone’s life?”

He added: “There is a 20 mph limit in place – but some people just ignore it.”

Coun Warnock and other campaigners believe the road needs two crossing on it - one between the junctions of Nansen Road and Highbury Avenue - the other closer to West View roundabout.

On Tuesday morning this week, there were plenty of young families struggling to cross the road – and they all agreed that crossings were needed.

Mum-of-three Hayley Wood, 25, of Burnham Green, had to cross Hatfield Avenue to get her children to Flakefleet Primary School.

She said: “It needs two crossings. Trying to get across is a nightmare.”

And Andrew Jones, 46, of Lindel Road, was trying to get his three children across to Charles Saer Primary School.

He said: “You can see how difficult it is. The other day my daughter Elisha, who is four, nearly ran out onto the road.

“Cars don’t slow down and there’s nothing on this road to make them slow down.”

Ivor Bould, a former Fleetwood Town councillor and the chairman of Fleetwood Neighbourhood Watch, was involved in the previous campaign to get crossings there.

He said: “We’ve been here before, when there was a public consultation and finally the county council approved the work.

“We were agonisingly close to getting something done, but then the whole thing was pulled, presumably for funding reasons.

“It just isn’t good enough. A road like Hatfield needs two crossings, yet it hasn’t got any at all.”

Sim Lane-Dixon, County Hall’s highways manager for Wyre, said: “We’re aware of the recent incidents on Hatfield Avenue and will consider the police reports once they have completed all their investigations into the circumstances.

“If the reports suggest there is a problem with road safety or speeding we’ll look at taking further action.

“We’ve recently received a request from a local councillor to look at providing a crossing facility and will carry out a study into pedestrian and traffic movements.”

County Council records show that in the last five years, six accidents on Hatfield Avenue have resulted in minor injuries, and two other incidents have been more serious.