Calls for 20mph zone after pedestrian injured in crash

Simon Young standing by the Pelican crossing where the 13-year-old girl was hit.
Simon Young standing by the Pelican crossing where the 13-year-old girl was hit.

Road safety campaigners are calling for the introduction of an enforceable 20mph zone in Mytholmroyd, amid concerns for pedestrian safety after a 13-year-old girl was injured in a bus accident.

The incident happened on Tuesday morning on the busy Burnley Road at a Pelican crossing, near to Calder High School, when the girl was involved in a collision with a First Bus single decker vehicle travelling towards Todmorden.

Police closed part of the road for a time while emergency services dealt with the accident which caused major rush hour queues on the busy A646 route through the Calder Valley.

Prior to the latest accident, worried residents, students and road safety campaigners have expressed concern for months about the narrow pavements and speed of motorists on the busy road.

Calderdale councillor Simon Young (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said: “Sadly, this accident is just the latest in a spate of accidents in Mytholmroyd.

“I am now calling for a detailed report on their causes and a commitment from Calderdale Council to take quick and decisive action to address the road safety situation in the village.

“What I want to see, and what I have campaigned for tirelessly for many years is for a fully enforceable 20mph zone through Mytholmroyd, similar to Hebden Bridge. We also need to look at better signage and if necessary, physical changes to drive speeds down.

“I know that residents also have concerns about the number of crossing points through the village and this should also be examined again.”

It has been revealed that council officials were in discussions with Metro and Calder High to investigate the removal of the bus stop at Burnley Road/Brier Hey Lane, just down the road from where the girl was hit on Tuesday.

During peak hours, students cross the road to access the Calder High School and there are currently two Pelican crossings on Burnley Road near the school grounds. Dr Wendy Bradford, a consultant to the leadership team at the Calder High School, said: “We have been in contact with the girl’s parents and as far as we know she was kept in hospital overnight and has received stitches.

“It is a narrow road and a very busy street at the end of the school day. We are always trying to improve the busy area and find ways that it can be safer for students.”

Businesses on Burnley Road said they could see the dangers of the busy road on a daily basis.

Lorna Banks, who works at West Mount Vets, Burnley Road, said: “I think it would be a good idea to introduce a 20mph zone because it is a road very close to a school and a commuting road.”

Kelly Lockley, of neighbouring Hair and Beauty World, said: “I think that introducing a 20mph speed restriction would help because it is a busy road. It is clearly dangerous with the amount of people that cross the road for school.”

Calderdale Council’s head of planning and highways, Geoff Willerton, said: “We take road safety very seriously. Fortunately accidents like this one are rare, but we’re always looking for ways to improve safety on Calderdale roads. This accident is being investigated by the police, and we will assess if any additional road safety measures are required once it is complete.”

A West Yorkshire Combined Authority spokesperson said: “We will be going out with Calderdale highways officers to review the situation and the previously-agreed measures, which included bus operator First’s diverting a peak-time service into the school grounds, reducing the number of students having to cross the road.”