Youngsters quiz Blackpool road safety chiefs over dangers to children

Children have quizzed council chiefs about road safety in Blackpool in response to figures which showed 63 youngsters were hit by vehicles in the resort during a recent four year period.

By Shelagh Parkinson
Friday, 11th March 2022, 6:19 pm

Members of the Blackpool Boys and Girls Club, who meet at Mereside, have also created an artwork of children's figures to depict each casualty.

They met up with John Blackledge, director of community and environmental services at Blackpool Council, to raise their concerns about the safety of children on the resort's roads.

Issues included dangerous riding of electric scooters and the need to ensure children could hear when electric cars were approaching.

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Children and leaders from Blackpool Boys and Girls Club with John Blackledge (far right), Blackpool Council engineering manager Ian Large and assistant headteacher Jane Walpole from Mereside Primary School.

The youngsters also suggested more speed cameras in areas used by children, dangerous parking near schools to be addressed, more speed awareness signs and use of crossing patrols at schools.

Now Mr Blackledge has pledged to feed back the issues raised into a new road safety action plan being prepared for the town.

He said: "It was a pleasure to meet with this group and hear about the research they have carried out.

"The thoughts and ideas they shared with me will feed into the new action plan we are developing around road safety.

“It is great to see young people proactively looking for solutions for the issues that matter to them.”

The Boys and Girls Club was prompted to consider the issue after Department for Transport figures revealed 63 children were hit by a car in Blackpool between 2017 and 2020, with 16 of those being seriously injured.

Sixteen children were involved in an accident during school drop-off and pick-up times, 13 of the casualties were aged between four and 11, and 11 of the incidents happened in a 20mph zone according to the data collected by Churchill Insurance.

Dave Blacker, a youth worker at the club, said: "This was a child-led traffic safety discussion which I think must be unique.

"If we can get some positive results that make the roads safer for children, then everyone is a winner."

Junior club manager Chloe Wright said: “The whole experience was empowering for the young people and they were delighted by the positive response of their special guests.”

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