A country lane dubbed a rat run could be designated an official “quiet lane” following an horrific crash which left a grandma and her grandson seriously injured.
Calls are being made for Standen Lane, which is known locally as Four Lane Ends, to be stripped of its 60 mph national speed limit, after the 45-year-old woman and her 18-month-old grandson were hit by a Vauxhall Corsa driven by a 17-year-old Skipton youth.
Coun. Robert Thompson, who is chairman of the Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership and ward councillor for Wiswell and Pendleton on Ribble Valley Borough Council, said action needs to be taken now to prevent other serious accidents happening in the future.
He said that during his 18 years as a borough councillor he has never seen such a bad accident on that stretch of road which he added is “fast becoming a rat run”.
A resident who lives close to the scene of the accident, but wants to remain anonymous, said the lane is frequently used as a short cut by drivers wanting to get to the A59 and not queue up at the top of Pendle Road.
“In the mornings and evenings they drive up here at speeds of 60 mph – it really has become a rat run and is very dangerous,” she said. “And to think people bring their children up here to learn to ride a bike.”
Our thoughts are with the grandmother and child, and their family, at this difficult time and we hope they make a full recoveryCouncillor
The driver of the Vauxhall Corsa, who is believed to attend Clitheroe Royal Grammar School Sixth Form Centre, was out driving with three fellow students during his lunch break on Thursday January 21st when the accident happened. He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and has been bailed to March 1st.
The incident was discussed at a meeting of the Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership last Thursday and it was unanimously agreed to write to the Lancashire Highways Authority requesting that the national speed limit is removed from Standen Lane, and it be designated an official “quiet lane”.
The injured grandmother, who was taking an afternoon stroll and pushing her grandson in his pram when the collision occurred, suffered two broken legs, a slight bleed on the brain and other serious injuries including a broken hand, damaged ribs and facial injuries.
She was taken by ambulance to the Royal Preston Hospital where it is believed she is still being looked after.
Her grandson, who also suffered cuts to his face and was airlifted to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, is believed to have now returned home from hospital. A dog, who was also injured during the collision, was treated by a vet.
Coun. Thompson added: “Our thoughts are with the grandmother and child, and their family, at this difficult time and we hope they make a full recovery.”
Under the Transport Act 2000, highways authorities are able to designate roads as quiet lanes, which enable users to enjoy them in greater safety and encourage motorists to respect walkers, cyclists, horse-riders and the mobility-impaired.
Four Lane Ends runs parallel to the A59 and is used extensively by walkers, cyclists and families with young children.
Ribble Valley Borough Councillor and Lancashire County Councillor Ian Brown is also backing the Partnership’s request.
“This was such a tragic accident and if any safety measures can be brought in for either side of that road it can only be a good thing,” said Coun. Brown.
Coun. Brown, along with local residents, asked Lancashire County Council back in October 2014 for an urgent review after 40 mph signs were erected on the other side of Four Lane Ends which runs eastwards towards Skipton.
Until that point there were no signs informing motorists of the lane’s speed limit and residents were concerned that the new signs could encourage motorists to drive at increased speeds.
Clitheroe resident Peter Booth warned at the time that it was “an accident waiting to happen”.