Hit-and-run victim's daughter campaigns to stop speeding in 'race track' streets around Red Bank Road

A Bispham woman is campaigning for improvements to road signs and traffic calming measures around the Red Bank Road area after her elderly father was hit by a car last weekend.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Friday, 17th September 2021, 9:32 am

Michelle Beech, 53, of Hesketh Avenue, hand-delivered a petition to hundreds of neighbours and left copies in Bispham cafe Maddisons in a bid to unite them in a fight against speeding motorists in the area.

Her father Vincent O'Toole, 93, was taken to hospital with an arm injury on Saturday evening after a car reversed into him in Warbreck Drive before driving off, while he was crossing the road after going to the shop to do the lottery.

An appeal to find the driver was issued by Lancashire Police.

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Michelle's elderly father Vincent was involved in a hit-and-run incident near Warbreck Drive on Saturday, which Michelle said would have been prevented if drivers stopped speeding in the area. Pic: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

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Hesketh Avenue is a one-way street, but Michelle said the "no entry" signs in the road are in such poor condition that motorists ignore the restrictions and drive down the road from the Promenade end, often breaking the speeding limit.

"My home [in Hesketh Avenue] has been a family home for over 20 years, and my husband and I moved in here around seven years ago to take care of my mum who we lost last year, my dad and my brother who is disabled," Michelle said.

"People in our street have asked and asked and asked for better signs to be put up, someone from Highways came out to see my husband around four years ago, and we just keep being told the signage is sufficient - but no, it's not. Cars go speeding up and down this road at all hours, it's supposed to be a one-way street but it's used like a racetrack all the time.

Michelle Beech is campaigning for traffic calming measures and improved road signage in Hesketh Avenue, and around Warbreck Drive and Red Bank Road in Bispham. Pic: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

"I visit an elderly neighbour across the road and I daren't even cross the street, it's lethal. You can barely see the 'no entry' signs on the road and people just ignore them.

"There aren't enough signs in the road, and the speeding around this whole area is horrendous. If the person who'd hit my dad hadn't been speeding, it wouldn't have happened.

"I've got around four A4 pages full of signatures now for my petition to the council, something needs to be done."

Bispham councillor Don Clapham said he had received complaints about traffic using the one way section at the seaward end of Hesketh Avenue "for a number of years."

The 'No Entry' sign painted onto the road at the Promenade end of Hesketh Avenue is ignored by motorists, Michelle said. Pic: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

"The signs are illuminated and signage is good," Coun Clapham said.

"But still the one way section is ignored by some motorists.

"We have suggested to Highways that Hesketh Avenue could be blocked off and the one way section be used two way to and from the entrance to the Highlands pub. This section is narrower than the rest of Hesketh Avenue.

"As for speeding on Warbreck Drive and Red Bank Road, it has become a major issue on all our roads since the lockdown for Covid."

Residents have resorted to makeshift signs in a bid to stop motorists driving the wrong way up Hesketh Avenue, which is a one-way street. Pic: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

Blackpool Council was contacted for comment.

The painted sign is fading and doesn't deter drivers from entering Hesketh Avenue at the Promenade end, but Blackpool Council has informed residents the signage is sufficient, Michelle alleged. Pic: Daniel Martino/JPI Media