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Accident sparks road crossing call

AN ACCIDENT that saw two boys hit by a car on the way home from school has led to calls for a pedestrian crossing on Manchester Road, Accrington.

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INJURED... Hollins Technology College pupils Ashley Brierley and James Laraway.

AN ACCIDENT that saw two boys hit by a car on the way home from school has led to calls for a pedestrian crossing on Manchester Road, Accrington.

James Laraway and Ashley Brierley, both 12 and pupils of The Hollins Technology College, were on their way back to James' house in Henry Street, Accrington, when the accident happened last Thursday afternoon.

James' parents David and Elaine said the pair were lucky to escape with minor injuries and have called for a crossing to be put in place before somebody is seriously hurt.

Mr Laraway said: "Luckily the traffic was moving quite slowly because of the roadworks.

"James has to cross Manchester Road every day on his way home from school and there is no facility for him to do so safely.

"We have always said the road was a problem, even before the accident. It's just lethal. It's the main road from Accrington to Haslingden and it's extremely hard to cross. You can be stood there for five to 10 minutes and you can't get across.

"It's just frightening. We need some sort of crossing or a school crossing patrol. County Hall spends money on silly things but when it comes to real issues there is nothing there.

"I am now thinking of paying for a taxi to bring him home. There's going to be a cost but it is a small price to pay if it means he is getting home safe."

Ashley lives in Sherbourne Drive, Baxenden, with his parents Michelle and Tony, brother Ben, eight, and sister, Chloe, five.

Mrs Brierley said: "Where we live Ashley does not have to cross Manchester Road but he was going back to his friend's house.

"There is absolutely nothing to help people cross from the Spar at Southwood Drive until you get to the Swan pub.

"It's a wonder nobody has died and I am just glad my lad is here. I just can't believe that nothing has been put into place before."

Headteacher of The Hollins Technology College, Frank Havard, said that the school had put in a submission for a central refuge on Manchester Road when an earlier consultation on traffic-calming measures took place.

He added: "Myself and my governing body are concerned and feel safety could be improved by a controlled crossing or central refuge. We are working with Mr Laraway to make progress on this."

A spokesperson for Lancashire County Council said: "Following the recent accident, we will be speaking to the police and the district council to see if further safety measures need to be taken along Manchester Road."