Closure turned our street into a rat run

Lee Clayton with children Rebecca, five and nine year-old Daniel (front) and fellow residents on Kempton Avenue in Blackpool.
Lee Clayton with children Rebecca, five and nine year-old Daniel (front) and fellow residents on Kempton Avenue in Blackpool.
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A WORRIED father today said he feared a child would be killed before council chiefs did something about a road he claims is dangerous.

Residents on Kempton Avenue say their road has become a ‘rat run’ since the adjacent road, Beechfield Avenue, was closed in 2010.

The closure was part of Blackpool Council’s scheme to introduce a cycle lane from Blackpool Promenade to Stanley Park with money obtained from Cycle England.

Objections were raised right from the start but residents claim their complaints fell on deaf ears and two years on they are still living with the consequences.

Lee Clayton said: “When we moved to Kempton Avenue it was a quiet, residential street and we thought it would be safe for our children to play.

“But since Beechfield was closed our street has become a rat run and it is just not wide enough to take the load of heavy two-way traffic.

“My daughter, Rebecca, was waving her mum off to work last week when a pick up truck came hurtling round the corner, another car was driving towards it so to avoid a collision the truck driver veered onto the kerb narrowly avoiding my daughter.

“My heart was in my mouth, it just isn’t safe, what will it take for the council to see that, a fatality?”

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Residents also say the legality of the road closure is debatable as the council failed to consult everyone affected by the changes and distributed misleading documentation.

Campaigner, Tony Mozley, said: “Residents on Beechfield Avenue were notified of the plans but homeowners on Kempton were not consulted.

“When the council sent out documents the names of the streets were misspelt and the images used were misleading.”

“We needed more correspondence for such a major layout change.”

Resident Mike Peters, said; “What amazes me is we are told we are part of David Cameron’s Big Society and our voices must be heard, but no-one will listen.”

Town hall chiefs said the authority stood by its consultation and that traffic counts showed the road was not overly busy.

A council spokesman said: “Since the changes were made we have carried out at least three lots of automatic traffic counts, the latest was carried out in autumn.

“It showed around 150 vehicles were using the road every hour, that equates to three vehicles a minute, a reasonable flow for a residential road.

“Legally we had to put a notice in the paper but we went above that by sending letters to homes on Beechfield and several houses on Kempton.

“We did not communicate with all residents on Kempton because we did not think it affected all, and in our view it hasn’t.”

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