New safety measures have been called for on a notorious junction where a young woman was almost killed.
Billington resident Hannah Flynn (20) suffered serious head injuries after the Ford Ka she and her sister Jessica (24) were travelling in was in collision with a Peugeot 407. The accident happened at 4-30 pm on August 16th at the junction close to Spring Wood Picnic Site, Whalley.
Emergency services were called and Hannah was air-lifted to Royal Preston Hospital where she remained in the Critical Care Unit for almost a month. Having recently regained consciousness, she was transferred to Royal Blackburn Hospital over the weekend, but according to her uncle, John Flynn, she still faces a “long and hard road to recovery”.
Now John, along with Hannah’s parents Keith and Barbara, are calling for urgent action to be taken by the highways department at Lancashire County Council to prevent further accidents at the “poorly designed” junction.
John said: “This is a highly dangerous junction, regarded by many as a deathtrap and I firmly believe it’s an accident waiting to happen. The problem of this junction appears to be well known in the area yet what action has been taken?
“Hannah’s injuries were horrendous and its devastating for her parents, sister and close family to see her in this way. She should have been out celebrating her 21st birthday next week, but instead she is lying in hospital. Jessica, who was driving the vehicle, is fine physically, but not emotionally. This horrific accident has had a huge impact on the family and we don’t want anyone else to go through what we are having to deal with. It’s been a very tragic time for us all.”
He added: “I believe that politicians and planners have been aware of the issues concerning this junction for years, but have quite simply sat on their hands. I cannot understand why they would design a junction where a single carriageway road suddenly becomes a ‘dual carriageway’ through a hazard. It gives the opportunity of speeding cars to pass slower cars/lorries, right on the lights encouraging cars to speed through the junction. The second lane disappears a few yards further down the road making it a ‘race track’. At the very least, simply changing the sequencing of the lights might have prevented this accident and others previously.”
Whalley councillor Joyce Holgate has already pledged support and has written to Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans appealing for traffic calming measures to be introduced in a bid to protect motorists.
She said: “A lower speed limit has to be introduced on that stretch of road before someone is killed or seriously injured again. It’s a very busy and dangerous junction and over the years I have witnessed a lot of accidents.
“People speed down Accrington Road to get through the lights before they turn red and smash into other drivers. I am calling for a full investigation into this matter.”
Responding, a spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “The county council highways officers have already met with the police on site with regards to reviewing the causes of the accident and will be taking any actions which are needed.”