Long awaited safety improvements planned for crossing where schoolboy hit by van

Posted on - 4th July, 2024 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Preston City Centre, Preston Locations, Preston News, Roads, Transport
Father and son pictured at the crossing where 10-year-old Talha was struck on 14th July, 2023 Pic: BBC LDRS

A junction where a schoolboy was run over by a van will finally get safety improvements after years of requests.

The crossing on Manchester Road in Preston City Centre is set to undergo safety improvements which include raising its height and widening the zebra crossing. The junction is located just yards from Cardinal Newman College and changes are being carried out by Lancashire County Council at the request of the education facility which will soon welcome increased numbers of students.

Last year, 10-year-old Talha Hussain was struck by a van as he rode his bike over the crossing point. The youngster was launched over kerbside railings and landed several metres away on the cobbles of nearby side street Larkhill Road. Talha was left bloodied and remained in serious pain well after the day of the incident.

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At the time, his dad Zakir Hussain said he had seen at least 10 near misses on the crossing and renewed pleas were made for safety improvements. While some wanted to see traffic lights added, the county council insisted a zebra crossing was the safest option for the location but said it was working on plans to improve it.

Those have now come forward and orders allowing for the raising of the junction table and the widening of the zebra crossing are open for consultation. Council documents explain that the crossing will be extended from 7.2m to 10m and the limited waiting bay will be shortened by 1m to ensure better visibility for drivers.

The report explains: “The provision of a raised junction table has been requested by Cardinal Newman College, due to serious accidents involving pedestrians at the junction (recorded between 2020 and 2023) and on the adjacent zebra crossing. 

“Although the junction of Manchester Road and Lark Hill Road is within an existing 20mph zone, the visibility of the junction is poor and it is located between cushions that are currently over 80m apart, and the existing cushions are not fully visible on the northbound approach due to a gradient and a large number of parked vehicles.

“The proposed junction table is to be provided in the interest of safety of all road users.”

Nick Burnham, principal of Cardinal Newman College, said: “We are pleased to be working with Lancashire Highways in order to improve the roads and pedestrian areas in the vicinity of the College campus. This collaborative project will be a welcome update not just for the College, but also our local community.”

Lancashire County Council were approached for further comment.

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