A concerned campaigner has vowed to step up her efforts to boost safety on a South Tyneside road where a couple were knocked down in a hit-and-run crash – after hundreds signed up for a petition calling for improvements on the route.
Worried mum Michelle Walters has attracted nearly 900 signatures in just over a week for a petition for a 20mph zone to be introduced on Wenlock Road –and two zebra crossings on the stretch to be replaced by a light-controlled single pelican crossing.
The huge surge in support came after an elderly couple were struck by a vehicle which failed to stop on the pedestrian crossing on Wenlock Road at 9.30am on Friday, December 11.
The man and wife, both aged, 85, were walking arm-in-arm on the crossing when they were hit.
The woman was released from South Tyneside Hospital after treatment, but her husband remains at Newcastle’s RVI Hospital after suffering head injuries.
Family friend Michelle Walters, who set up the petition, said: “I have been very surprised by the support the petition has received.
“The aim is to get 1,000 signatures so we can really deliver a strong message.”Michelle Walters
“I didn’t expect to get the numbers we have had.
“Nearly 900 people have already signed up.”
Michelle, who has a daughter who attends nearby Lord Blyton School, is aiming to gather 1,000 signatures and present the petition to ward councillors at a community area forum (CAF) meeting in the new year.
She added: “The aim is to get to 1,000 signatures so we can really deliver a strong message when it is presented at the CAF meeting on January.
“It is not only just about introducing a 20mph zone, but is even more important to replace the two crossings with a pelican crossing.
“I am going to a CAF meeting on January 28 to present the petition.
“We believe the road at that point is unsafe, and what has happened makes you realise just how dangerous it is. Next time it could be a death. I have spoken to the council and they said they are aware of the issues. Hopefully, now they will take action.”
The family of the couple injured in the collision are also backing the petition.
A Facebook page – Changes to the road needed at Wenlock Road – has been created for people to leave their comments and to find out where the petition can be signed.
A council spokesman said: “The council will consider any petition that is sent through and the road safety team will carry out an investigation and report back.”
Police are still appealing for witnesses to the collision to come forward.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101, quoting log number 318 11/12/15.