Calls grow for safety upgrade

Gerard Street, Ashton
Gerard Street, Ashton

A CAMPAIGN to increase road safety in the wake of a fatal accident in a Wigan borough town centre is attracting increasing levels of support.

A petition calling for the creation of a town centre zone in Ashton has received more than 500 signatures since it was set up last week.

Fatal accident victim Norah Fairhurst

Fatal accident victim Norah Fairhurst

It follows a tragic incident earlier this month when a pedestrian was killed after a collision with a heavy-goods vehicle on Gerard Street.

The campaign, which is the brainchild of grass-roots political movement the Community Action Party (Cap), is asking for Wigan Council to conduct a consultation of residents, shoppers and business owners as the first step.

Cap leader Michael Moulding told the Evening Post that concerns about traffic management issues through the town centre have now peaked after 61-year-old Norah Fairhurst died after being hit by a lorry.

He said: “This campaign has gained significant support in a short space of time and we will be distributing leaflets throughout the community. We need to give priority to shoppers, businesses, residents and public transport and we will be calling on the council to launch a consultation exercise.

“The town centre zone could introduce a new one-way system with limitations on when HGVs are allowed through the town centre, they will no longer be able to use the centre as a short-cut during busy period. There will also be additional pelican crossings, improved footpaths and better pedestrianisation.”

The petition has already reached half of its 1,000 signature target. Among the residents to have backed it are Andrea Higson, who said: “For a little town centre to have all the HGVs passing through is ridiculous. The roads are busy enough with normal traffic.”

And Barbara Lister who said: “Far too many HGVs going through Ashton it is a nightmare trying to cross Liverpool Road from St Oswald’s Road and Vicarage Road crossing over Warrington Road any time of the day.”

Natalie Dickinson added: “I am concerned for the safety of the people of Ashton.”