Woman launches campaign to make Wells streets safer after hit-run
THE hit and run incident which left a Wells schoolgirl in hospital was the last straw for one mother who is now determined to stop it happening again.
When Rosie Clothier was hit by a driver who had reportedly mounted the pavement on New Street, Natalie Paddick thought of all the near-misses she had seen in the past.
She said: “My 17-year-old daughter has stepped out of the door and had to jump back into the house to avoid being hit by a lorry on the pavement.”
Such close escapes are not isolated incidents.
She said: “This was an accident waiting to happen and is waiting to happen again.
“Multiple times per day I see vehicles going up on the pavement. It’s about an equal split between lorries and parents on the school run.”
Now the mum-of-three is organising various groups to make New Street a safer place for pedestrians.
Natalie wants to see several measures introduced to slow traffic down and get as many people as possible using the relief road.
“If we reduced the speed limit to 20mph it might encourage people to use the relief road and stop this being a rat run,” she said.
“It would need to be enforced by the police, then when people think that they’ll get a speeding ticket for going this way they might change their habits.”
She also believes that the problem of drivers mounting the pavement could be solved by having bollards placed on the pavement.
To get all this done Natalie has been gathering support from politicians, the police and schools.
Mendip district councillor Harvey Siggs, who is the portfolio holder for highways, said: “I’m meeting with senior highway officers and engineers to see what can be done and what is feasible.
“There is no easy solution.
“Reducing the speed limit to 20mph would not make a difference without vigorous enforcement from the police.”
Inspector Mark Nicholson said: “Speeding is a key priority across Mendip.
“We’ll support anything that will improve the safety of roads for the public.”
With so many schoolchildren using the junction every day, the schools in Wells has also got behind the campaign.
The Blue School released the following statement: “Following the recent horrific accident involving one of our sixth form students, representatives from both the Blue School and Wells Cathedral School will be meeting soon to discuss any possible modifications that could help to prevent any such problems in the future.
“We take the safety of our students, both on and off site, very seriously and hope that the two schools can work closely with the local authority to improve safety on our roads.”
Rosie, 16, has now left hospital and is recovering at home.
A 45-year-old woman was arrested by police following the incident. After being questioned, she has not been charged and has been bailed until November.