Published: July 3, 2008
Rooksbridge villagers back widow's campaign for road safety changes

Rooksbridge villagers

Hundreds of residents from a village near Burnham-On-Sea are supporting a widow's campaign for road safety changes following the tragic death of her husband in a road accident earlier this year.

Gordon Ireland was knocked down on the A38 in Rooksbridge in January and this week his wife Pat is at the forefront of a campaign to get a safe crossing point to avoid more fatal accidents.

Rooksbridge residents Chris Cook and Pat IrelandMore than 200 people from the village have already signed a petition calling for a pelican crossing or refuge island to be built along the road and an online version has this week been started here.

A dozen residents will also cycle from the village to Somerset County Council's headquarters in Taunton this Friday (July 4th) to put pressure on councillors to take notice of their demands.

Residents also plan to launch a charity in memory of Mr Ireland to raise the necessary funds to introduce the road changes.

Mrs Ireland told on Wednesday: "Although we have a 30mph speed limit through the village, so many drivers are behaving badly and foolishly speeding and overtaking."

"Being a village divided by the A38, many residents need access to our post office, garage and public house. Our biggest worry is for the 15 to 20 children who have to cross this stretch of the A38 every weekday at 8am to catch the school bus. Under the circumstances, pedestrians don't stand a chance."

"We have been told by County Hall in Taunton that a score-carding of the road has not achieved a sufficiently high priority to be included in their five year programme. The cost of delivering a light-controlled crossing is between £120,000 and £150,000."

"Furthermore, we would be expected to raise £90,000 of this amount as all County Hall funds have been allocated until 2011."

She added: "We have been score-carded as being in the low category, even with a death. To reach the medium category we would need five people to die and to reach the high priority seven or more people have to be killed."

"We have been so incensed by this and are going to do all in our power to raise the £90,000 required and are in the process of setting up a registered charity for any funds collected."

Chris Crook, one of the campaign organisers (who is pictured above with Mrs Ireland and the petition), told "We do have a speed camera and obviously that helps, but as soon as drivers get past it, most of them accelerate off even faster. A simple crossing for pedestrians will hopefully eliminate further tragedies."

Our photos show Rooksbridge residents besides the A38 in the centre of the village and, beneath, campaign organisers Chris Crook and Pat Ireland


Online petition in support of the campaign [External link]
Pedestrian killed in road accident in Rooksbridge


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