Tragedy sparks safety petition

NDET 03-10-12 MC 1'Becky Carline and Margaret Renshaw with their petition about reducing the speed limits on the A632 and adding traffic lights to the Spancarr junction to reduce accidents.
NDET 03-10-12 MC 1'Becky Carline and Margaret Renshaw with their petition about reducing the speed limits on the A632 and adding traffic lights to the Spancarr junction to reduce accidents.
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ANXIOUS residents are calling for road safety measures along the notorious ‘The Flying Mile’ road near Ashover after it claimed the lives of two youngsters.

Connor Short, of Ashover, and Liam Chapman, of Clay Cross, both aged 16, died following a collision between a Peugeot 206 and a Vauxhall Corsa at the junction of Birkin Lane and the A632 Matlock Road blackspot.

The tragedy has spurred Becky Carline and Margaret Renshaw to organise a petition calling for traffic lights or a roundabout at the A632 junction as well as a reduced speed limit along a nearby 40mph A632 stretch which they want changing to 30mph.

Becky, 42, of Kelstedge, said: “My son was a friend of Connor’s and Liam’s and I was shocked to learn they died because they were lovely boys and I feel so much for the families.

“We don’t know what happened and don’t blame anyone but this collision on The Flying Mile at Spancarr Crossroads has encouraged us to organise this petition because this road is notorious for speeding motorists using it like a race track.”

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Becky and Margaret have petitions at Ashover Post Office, Kelstedge Inn, Ashover Primary School and elsewhere and hope to hand them into Derbyshire County Council’s highways department to consider.

Barmaid Carol Richmond-Neal, of the Kelstedge Inn, said: “It’s dangerous. Something has to be done. Motorists speed along this road and if we leave a window open they can go so fast that our doors bang shut.

“It can also get very misty at Spancarr and I’ve had to open a car window to listen for motorists because you can’t see them coming especially if the grass at the junction has grown.”

Liam and Connor had been passengers in the Peugeot 206 travelling along Birkin Lane onto the A632 Matlock Road about 11.10pm, on Thursday, September 20, when it was in collision with a Vauxhall Corsa travelling along the A632 from Matlock to Chesterfield. The driver of the Peugeot suffered fractures and two male occupants in the Corsa suffered minor injuries.

Connor - whose father David Short died in a road traffic incident on the same A632 road eight years ago - passed away in the early hours of the next morning and Liam died last Wednesday, September 26.

Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership, which is overseen by the county council, confirmed there have been 63 injuries recorded along the A632 between Belond Lane and Slack Lane between August 2002 and July 2012 including one fatality.

A partnership spokesman said: “We’re in touch with our partners at the police who are trying to establish the circumstances of the crash. Once we know what caused it, we’ll have a clearer idea of what action may need to be taken.” Witnesses to the Spancarr crash can call police on (01773) 572929 and those wishing to support the campaign can call Margaret Renshaw on (01246) 591354.