Shropshire Star

Driver tells road safety meeting that parents and children should take more responsibility for crashes

A driver's defence of motorists and resistance to new road safety measures in an area where children have been injured in crashes sparked a fierce debate.

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File picture: With the mangled wreck of a bike after her son was hit by a car is Angela Warren (front right), mum and campaigner Katie Blant (front left), and (back from left) Councillor Chris Lemon, Shropshire Council's Ffion Horton and The Priory School's head of maths Jeremy Tudor

The Radbrook Road Safety Group was set up after mums Angela Warren's and Katie Blant's sons were involved in collisions and a whole host of safety measures are on the table, including a 20mph zone.

But one resident isn't impressed by what he sees as drivers taking the majority of the blame for collisions in the Bank Farm Road area and spoke out at Friday's meeting of the group. When approached by the Shropshire Star he did not wish to be named.

"Kids on bikes do not stop," he said. "Some responsibility should be put on cyclists and parents, not everything on car drivers."

He also slammed plans for 20mph zones outside some schools as "unnecessary".

"You can't do more than 20mph in the area anyway," he said.

Ffion Horton, of Shropshire Council, said road safety measures are not about blaming drivers but about cutting down the risk of serious injury or death.

"If a mistake is made it should not cost serious injury or loss of life."

She added: "We are talking about children who are under the age of 18 after all."

The meeting at Radbrook Community Centre was told that 85 per cent of drivers have been exceeding the speed limit and restrictions on Crowmeole Lane are widely ignored. A community speedwatch team is set to be started.

The meeting also heard that an automatic number plate recognition scheme is being talked about.

Five flashing speed signs are also on the cards for Bank Farm Road.

Ms Horton said: "They have been ordered for months and we had hoped to have them in before Christmas. We are chasing them but they are taking a while to get here."

Also on the way are various crossings, and raised platforms in the road, and the two new schools in the area would be included in 20mph zones.

"There are seven schools in a small area with a total of 5,000 children," she said. "There are a crazy number of kids. We are making it safer to walk and cycle. I will have more details in February time for all seven schools."

Referring to the introduction of raised platforms on Featherbed Lane, in Shrewsbury, said they are "really successful".

There are also plans to launch an education programme where one of the ideas is to use children's "pester power" to influence their parents and get them walking and cycling more.

But she added that changes in the Highway Code mean that pedestrians and cyclists have priority on the roads, so the council has to design road safety measures that promote this.