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School headteacher in new call for traffic calming measures after pupil hit by car

School headteacher in new call for traffic calming measures after pupil hit by car

by Henry James (September 2021)

A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD Skelmersdale pupil who was struck by a car and ‘catapulted into the air’ suffered a fractured eye socket in the incident.

Ava Cartwright, who attends St James’s Catholic Primary, sustained the injury after being hit by a vehicle outside the school on Ashurst Road at about 3.30pm on Friday, September 17.

Following the incident, headteacher at the school, Angela Blacoe, has called for traffic calming measures to be installed.

The head told the Champion that Ava had yet to return to school. She said “Ava was crossing the road from school with her mum and younger brother. As she was crossing, a driver hit her. She catapulted into the air and collapsed at the side of the road. Eye witnesses have slightly differing accounts of the incident and police are investigating this.

“An ambulance was called on the day to say a child had been knocked over and her mum was informed there was a 45 minute wait. Staff had to lift Ava into her grandad’s car, so her grandad and mum could take her to A E, Ormskirk. She was later transported to Alder Hey for a fractured eye socket.

“Myself and the two previous headteachers have asked for speed restrictions and a safe crossing place on Ashurst Road for many years. There are are no safe crossing places on Ashurst Road. The underground subways are often not fit for purpose, with flooding issues and uneven pathways.

Also, our working parents are often on a tight schedule, and need to be able to drop children off without a detour to the shops, where the subway leads too. There are no new pathways on one side of Ashurst road despite the development of 200 houses there. This means residents have to cross the road to access the school. There are major housing developments in the area which has increased the problem with more traffic and there has been a significant increase in pupil numbers on roll in school.

“Myself and the whole school community are asking for: a zebra crossing; lollipop patrol; signage and a speed camera to keep our children safe travelling to and from school. The current speed limit is 30mph. There is no signage and no traffic enforcers at all by the school.”

Jackie Brindle, road safety manager for Lancashire County Council, said: “We're very sorry to hear of this incident and hope the student is recovering well.

“One of our road safety officers has contacted the school to arrange a meeting, and we will consider what more can be done to improve road safety for pupils and others in the vicinity of the school.

“We deliver a wide range of practical road safety support to schools across Lancashire, and advise any school concerned about road safety to take up our offer of advice and practical training to help children stay safe on the roads.

“In addition, we have organised a speed survey on Ashurst Road, to take place next week, and will be working with Lancashire Constabulary to determine the most appropriate action to keep residents safe on this road.”

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