Concerns about Chorley road safety raised after local woman has head skimmed by passing car

Concerns are growing about the dangers of a country road in Whittle-le-Woods and the impact a proposed housing development would have on the area after a local woman was almost killed by a passing car.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 4:15 pm
Ron Brimelow said his wife Jean was nearly killed by a car along Town Lane

Residents of Town Lane, Whittle-le-Woods, have been objecting to new plans that propose building at least 250 Redrow homes in the rural area over fears it will cause more road accidents and the overpopulation.

The amount of traffic travelling along Town Lane has been a concern for residents since the plans for the new development were first announced, as they outlined that there are multiple blind bends, a lack of pavements and primary schools very close by.

And last week, local woman Jean Brimelow fell victim to the concerning road conditions, falling over along the roadside, breaking her wrist and having her head skimmed narrowly by the wheel of a passing car.

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Ron Brimelow at the spot on Town Lane where his wife was injured, with his daughter Sheenan and Coun Gordon France

In April, a total of 309 highway safety objections against the new housing development were lodged to Chorley Council, with Lancashire County Council Highways recommending that the planning should not be given the go-ahead.

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Its planning report concluded that the proposed development could not be safely accessed on foot or by cycling, and that bus stops were not within a desirable walking distance of the site. It added that the footways on Town Lane are of inadequate width.

Ron Brimelow, a resident of Lady Crosse Drive, is among others pushing back against the proposed plan and is now even more determined following the near-miss incident with his wife Jean just last week.

A proposed development of 250 dwellings is set to be built just off Town Lane

He said: "There are blind bends along Town Lane which are really dangerous, especially where there isn't a footpath. It's very narrow and tricky for people walking and driving along the road.

"It's a dangerous situation which is bound to be made worse if 250 new houses are built there, which will bring close to 500 more cars onto the road. People come unsighted down there and often don't adhere to the speed limits.

"My wife Jean had an accident that resulted in a broken wrist and severely bruised foot and a very near fatality. This could have been a lot worse or could have also been a young child who goes to school in the area but she was extremely lucky.

"We were forced to cross the road as the footpaths along the blind bend are in poor condition and very narrow. Jean tripped and fell into the path of a passing car, the rear wheel of which brushed past the side of her head. It is a crazy situation that the speed limit on this bend is 40 mph and that there is no safe passage for pedestrians.

"The road safety is so concerning and there is just more and more traffic coming here. We are being treated like idiots but we know what more houses would do to the area and how unsafe it would make our roads."

In February, members of the Town Lane resident's association began submitting objections to the site over their fears of an increase in traffic, dangerous roads and strain on local infrastructure if the site is approved.

County Councillor for Environment and Green Space, Mark Clifford, said that the country lane is already at capacity, adding that new housing developments would be 'irresponsible'.

He said: "Town Lane is a lovely semi-rural country lane with beautiful green scenery and fantastic old stone cottages along its length.

"As with many of these rural roads they were built at a time when the motor vehicle didn’t exist with narrow carriageways and tiny footpaths. It was sheer good fortune that this latest accident wasn’t fatal and I was deeply shocked when I was notified of the incident.

"These rural lanes are now at their maximum capacity for vehicles and plans to build 250 houses along this lane is dangerous and irresponsible to say the least. We need fewer cars travelling along Town Lane and certainly not more.

"It’s time that residents views are listened to and the health and wellbeing of residents put first before greed and the destruction of our village."

The Post has contacted Red Row Development for their response.

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