Public meeting on road safety in Northorpe and Thurlby after A15 accident

The A15 at Northorpe. 'Photo: MSMP080114-009ow
The A15 at Northorpe. 'Photo: MSMP080114-009ow
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A call-to-action meeting will stoke up support for pedestrian crossings on the A15 where two 11-year-old girls were injured in a crash.

With the number of signatures on petitions now at almost 5,000, campaigners hope to make a case for crossings in Thurlby and Northorpe at the public meeting on February 14, which will be attended by Bourne MP Nick Boles and representatives from Lincolnshire County Council.

Mother-of-two and Thurlby resident Clare White, who had been concerned about her daughter Tia, 10, having to cross the A15 when she starts school, said the crash on January 7 had been the “final trigger” that pushed her into starting the petition.

Clare, who described crossing the road with her one-year-old son as a “nightmare”, said she and Thurlby Parish Council were now working together because “we are all after the same outcome”.

She has linked up with the parish council to organise the public meeting, which will be held at Lawrance Park Hall, Thurlby, on Friday, February 14 at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Claire, 33, who works as a catering assistant said: “The meeting is a call to action so we can get as many people as possible to lend their support for the pedestrian crossings.

“The support for the petition has been absolutely amazing. People have been helping to put out paper petitions, photocopy them and even baby-sit for me while I am out campaigning.

Thurlby Parish Council chairman Barry Dobson said the campaign group had its full backing.

“We will give them all the support they need,” he said, “It’s something we have wanted and have worked towards but it could not happen until the speed limit was reduced to 40mph.”

The parish council had campaigned for several years to reduce the speed limit on the A15 to 40mph from 60mph.

Last month Lincolnshire County Council announced the speed would be reduced and work is due to start over the coming weeks.

Brian Thompson, head of highways at the county council, said: “It is important that pedestrian crossings are provided at locations with the greatest need, and that requests are assessed in a consistent way.

“We will carry out an assessment of this section of road to see if it meets the necessary criteria. If it does, we can then look to identify some funding to enable the crossing to be built.”

County council leader Martin Hill (Con) and Coun Richard Davies (Con), executive member for highways, have visited the proposed crossings site and had a meeting with Mr Dobson which, a county spokesman said had been “very amicable with both parties keen to address the concerns that had been raised”.

It is understood that while Thurlby meets the criteria for a crossing, Northorpe does not.

Mr Dobson added: “It doesn’t mean we cannot get a crossing: we just have to fight a lot harder and find reasons.

“We have the backing of many organisations including the Road Safety Partnership, so we will continue our fight.”
In the last five years there have been 12 accidents on the stretch of the A15 covering the two villages. Three of them were in the last six months.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership said, apart from the crash of January 7, none of the incidents involved pedestrians.

He added: “We know the collision statistics in that area are high and have been working with the parish council, county council and the highways to identify what improvements can be made.”

The two girls had been crossing the road at Northorpe after alighting from a school bus when they were hit by a Renault Trafic minibus.

They were flown to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham where their condition was yesterday described as “stable”.