Saftey call as ‘lives at stake’ at Westwoodside accident blackspot

The sharp bend on the B1396 near Westwoodside, which has become an accident blackspot.  Picture: Liz Mockler E1524LM
The sharp bend on the B1396 near Westwoodside, which has become an accident blackspot. Picture: Liz Mockler E1524LM

WORRIED residents are demanding action over a notorious Isle accident blackspot following a spate of crashes.

Campaigners have started a petition to demand improved safety measures on the B1396 Doncaster Road from Westwoodside, after two further incidents this month again left drivers and passengers seriously injured.

One collision victim was car passenger and Haxey councillor John Maw, who was injured along with his wife Barbara in a smash at the controversial junction at Idle Bank on January 10.

Chairman of Haxey parish council, David Knowles, said: “This road and junction is a constant item on our agenda, and was revisited on Tuesday after more serious casualties this month.

“Some measures have been taken by North Lincs Council but they clearly are not enough. We have several proposals to make to the council this week. There are too many accidents and we want to know what is to be done about it. Budgets may be constrained, but lives are at stake.”

Two Westwoodside residents have opened a Facebook petition for action, to show the strength of feeling. It attracted over 70 comments in just two days.

Darren Calow, 47, of Westmoreland Close, Westwoodside, began the petition with Rachel Morley, of Doncaster Road, Westwoodside. He said: “Every time there is a crash on this road the news spreads like wildfire, and local people are straight on to the phone to check their own families aren’t involved. It’s a constant worry.

“Everyone in this area has either had a smash or a near-miss at some point. There have been fatalities and accidents will continue. It’s common to see a car in a ditch,

“North Lincs Council has reduced the speed limit on a stretch to 50 mph but it’s not helped. And there are camera signs but no cameras, and people know it.

“We thought we would test the strength of feeling with a petition and it’s been pounced on. People have written to the council individually but seem to be fobbed off. Our local MP has been approached too. Still nothing more is done.”

Darren continued: “People with families are paranoid. My 18-year-old daughter will take her test soon and I’m worried already about her using that road.”

Proposals by Haxey parish council include removal of a give way sign at Park Drain (Idle Bank) crossroads with traffic lights to replace. A roundabout is another option, or to offset the junction to force motorists who may perceive the road to be clear, to slow down.

But land ownerships present another obstacle as only the roads themselves are council-owned, said Coun Knowles.

Isle MP Andrew Percy told the Bells: “I share residents’ concerns and their frustration at continued reckless driving. A number of people have contacted me. Reducing the speed limit sadly does not in itself stop speeding and it is clear at this location we need proper police enforcement.”

Casualty reduction officer for Humberside police, PC Barry Gardner, said: “There is concern about parts of this road and the North Lincs Road Safety Partnership is looking at speed detection and engineering works by way of improvements. It may not happen overnight, but it’s recognised there are issues and these are being addressed.”

A spokeswoman for North Lincolnshire Council said: “We are aware of concerns about the B1396 and have recently reduced the speed to 50mph on one stretch, from the national speed limit. The 40mph section through Westwoodside is also to be reviewed over the next couple of years.”

Accident data collated by the council from 2009 to 2011 includes 12 collisions, that broken down reveal there to have been three incidents (one serious) from the Notts boundary to Westwoodside, six incidents at Idle Bank junction (three serious, one fatal), one in the 40mph section, and a further two on the main stretch before Autumn last year.