HIGHAMS PARK: Fears over road safety after boy hurt

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Picture by Adam and Julie Steppings Picture by Adam and Julie Steppings

RESIDENTS say a road bend close to where a 12-year-old boy was hit by a van yesterday is dangerous due to a lack of warning signs and traffic calming measures.

The collision which took place in Larkshall Road in Highams Park, near the junction with Coolgardie Avenue, left the boy with head and leg injuries.

He was airlifted to hospital and is now recovering from his injuries, which are not life threatening.

Police have made no arrests.

Witnesses said the boy got off a bus just after a bend in the road and as he crossed in front of it, he was hit by the van.

Residents near the bend say, despite a 20mph maximum speed sign, there has always been a problem with cars speeding on the road.

Carmel King, 63, who lives close to the scene of the accident, said: "This road is a nightmare.

"Years ago there was a petition to get a crossing put in but it was put in further up the road.

"The speed that drivers come round at that corner makes the road very dangerous and they may not get to stop in time if something is blocking the road.

"When I get of the bus sometimes I have to stand on the side of the road for about ten minutes before crossing.

"They should have cameras here and signs because it might make people slow down."

Wayne Halfhide, another Larkshall Road resident, said the bus stop is too close to the corner.

The 40-year-old added: "If people are not familiar with the road it can be a bit dangerous.

"Even if people are not driving that fast, when they come round the corner, they will find themselves by the bus stop before they know it.

"I definitely think the bus stop should be moved so it is not on the bend."

An off duty police officer, who wanted to remain anonymous, said a speed camera and warnings signs to alert drivers of the bend might make motorists drive more carefully.

He added: "But people should also be better educated on the best places to cross the road, especially one as dangerous as this."

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Comments (5)

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1:06pm Thu 21 Jul 11

myopinioncounts says...

"Eyewitness accounts suggest the boy got off the bus just after a bend in the road and as he crossed in front of it, he was hit by the van that was driving past." If this is true, and he was not on a pedestrian crossing, the boy did not give the driver any chance of stopping. Pedestrian crossings are there for a purpose and should be used even if it means walking a bit further.
In some countries 'Jay walking' is against the law it would save lives if introduced here.
A 20mph speed limit on a main road is ridiculous.
"Eyewitness accounts suggest the boy got off the bus just after a bend in the road and as he crossed in front of it, he was hit by the van that was driving past." If this is true, and he was not on a pedestrian crossing, the boy did not give the driver any chance of stopping. Pedestrian crossings are there for a purpose and should be used even if it means walking a bit further. In some countries 'Jay walking' is against the law it would save lives if introduced here. A 20mph speed limit on a main road is ridiculous. myopinioncounts
  • Score: 0

2:20pm Thu 21 Jul 11

Oliver_Highams_Park says...

There is no pedestrian crossing on that stretch of road for a good 200 metres. It's a terrible bend and people are always racing around there.

We requested a pedestrian crossing in Highams Park but were told by the council it was unlikely anything would be done until AFTER somebody had been hurt/killed.

Highams Park should be a 20mph zone all round. There are several schools here and drivers are appalling, I'm surprised more people aren't injured or killed around here.
There is no pedestrian crossing on that stretch of road for a good 200 metres. It's a terrible bend and people are always racing around there. We requested a pedestrian crossing in Highams Park but were told by the council it was unlikely anything would be done until AFTER somebody had been hurt/killed. Highams Park should be a 20mph zone all round. There are several schools here and drivers are appalling, I'm surprised more people aren't injured or killed around here. Oliver_Highams_Park
  • Score: 0

3:52pm Thu 21 Jul 11

averagejoe211 says...

I grew up in Coolgardie Avenue and I've never understood why the bus stop is positioned right after such a dangerous bend.

There definitely needs to be a pedestrian crossing along that stretch of road. The situation will get worse when Tesco opens and the traffic increases.

I am disgusted that the council wait until someone has been killed or seriously hurt before they do anything about making our roads safer.
I grew up in Coolgardie Avenue and I've never understood why the bus stop is positioned right after such a dangerous bend. There definitely needs to be a pedestrian crossing along that stretch of road. The situation will get worse when Tesco opens and the traffic increases. I am disgusted that the council wait until someone has been killed or seriously hurt before they do anything about making our roads safer. averagejoe211
  • Score: 0

9:52pm Thu 21 Jul 11

Donald Bethl'hem says...

I ride my scooter every day along this stretch of road. As I travel up towards the roundabout at Larkswood at 30 mph from the station , there is inevitably an impaient driver "tailgating" me, and at least once a week someone will overtake well in excess of the 30mph speed limit.
Hope this lad recovers soon and fully, but I am not surprised this has happened, knowing the disgraceful way some motorists treat this stretch of road.
I ride my scooter every day along this stretch of road. As I travel up towards the roundabout at Larkswood at 30 mph from the station , there is inevitably an impaient driver "tailgating" me, and at least once a week someone will overtake well in excess of the 30mph speed limit. Hope this lad recovers soon and fully, but I am not surprised this has happened, knowing the disgraceful way some motorists treat this stretch of road. Donald Bethl'hem
  • Score: 0

11:34am Fri 22 Jul 11

andychurchill says...

As much as I deplore speeding, there's no confirmation yet that this particular driver was actually speeding. Even being hit at 20mph if you step out in front of a vehicle is going to leave you with more than just a bit of bruise. it could well be that the boy was lucky that driver wasn't going as fast as other idiots. Clearly schools are no longer doing the same road safety educational campaigns that tell you not to cross roads too close to buses. ice cream vans, etc, or he ignored the advice. He's learned a lesson the hard and painful way, and I hope he recovers soon.

That said, that stretch of road DOES need to be improved. I've not noticed particularly fast drivers before, but have tried to cross there on a number of occasions and found it difficult due to constant flow of traffic. Because of the residential streets and tennis courts, something should be done to make that road easier to cross, and that means putting traffic lights or a pelican crossing nearer to the bus stop so that pedestrians can cross safely.
As much as I deplore speeding, there's no confirmation yet that this particular driver was actually speeding. Even being hit at 20mph if you step out in front of a vehicle is going to leave you with more than just a bit of bruise. it could well be that the boy was lucky that driver wasn't going as fast as other idiots. Clearly schools are no longer doing the same road safety educational campaigns that tell you not to cross roads too close to buses. ice cream vans, etc, or he ignored the advice. He's learned a lesson the hard and painful way, and I hope he recovers soon. That said, that stretch of road DOES need to be improved. I've not noticed particularly fast drivers before, but have tried to cross there on a number of occasions and found it difficult due to constant flow of traffic. Because of the residential streets and tennis courts, something should be done to make that road easier to cross, and that means putting traffic lights or a pelican crossing nearer to the bus stop so that pedestrians can cross safely. andychurchill
  • Score: 0

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