Calls for footpath on death crash road

CAMPAIGNERS calling for a footpath to be built along a village road where a girl died in an accident have meet with their MP to express their concerns.

CAMPAIGNERS calling for a footpath to be built along a village road where a girl died in an accident have meet with their MP to express their concerns.

Amy Field, 15, died after she was in collision with a car as she walked along Thorrington Road, Great Bentley, near her home, last December.

There is no footpath along the stretch of road where the accident occurred and over the years the amount of traffic using the road has increased. Two other pedestrians have been knocked over by cars in Thorrington Road in the last five years.

North Essex MP Bernard Jenkin yesterdaysaw mothers walking school children home along the road and met safety campaigner Zena Went and Great Bentley Parish Council chairwoman Linda McWilliams.

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Mrs McWilliams said the parish council has been calling for a footpath to be built along Thorrington Road for five years.

After Amy's death she made renewed calls to Essex County Council's highways department for a pavement to be installed.

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"They responded very quickly to do the necessary survey. They hadn't appreciated how many pedestrians used the road," said Mrs McWilliams.

Meanwhile, a former parish councillor, Ms Went, who lives in Thorrington Road, launched a petition calling for a footpath and another street lamp. Everybody living in the road signed it, as did several other villagers.

She sent the petition to the MP, Essex Police chief constable David Stevens, Essex County Council and Tendring District Council.

"It's a dangerous road for children going to primary school and also anybody walking along the road. A lot of women won't walk along the road because they're so afraid of being run over, so they won't go out unless they're in a car," said Ms Went.

The county council has made the footpath top priority and it will be built as soon as funds are available. The cost of installing another street lamp is also being investigated.

Mr Jenkin said: "It seems to me if the Government is serious about Safe Routes to School this is a prime candidate."

He added: "I will continue to pursue the highways department and the district council about the footpath."

Ms Went said: "I thought something's got to be done and something has been done, only by being determined and pushing things forward. I'm delighted."

Mrs McWilliams said: "It was a good effort on everybody's behalf to get something sorted out. I'm pleased with the result, but so sad at the loss of Amy."

Essex County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation Rodney Bass said: "I'm sure this is an important local issue. I will certainly look at any representations that are made to me about trying to speed up the funding."

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