Three lorry deaths in Heckmondwike sparks campaign for town centre safety

A community is launching a campaign to improve safety in Heckmondwike after three people have died in road traffic collisions since January.

Friday, 9th October 2020, 4:09 pm
Updated Friday, 9th October 2020, 4:12 pm

The campaign has been spearheaded by Clare Beaumont, 43, of Heckmondwike, whose aunt Jean Hepworth was killed at Westgate on February 26 after being hit by a lorry.

Ms Beaumont said she is liasing with Kirklees Council and Spenborough MP Tracy Brabin regarding the safety of busy route running through the town centre.

Ms Beaumont said: “The roads on either side are seperated with rubber bollards.

Tributes left for Jean Hepworth was killed at Westgate on February 26 after being hit by a lorry
Tributes left for Jean Hepworth was killed at Westgate on February 26 after being hit by a lorry

“The bollards give a false sense of security. It’s tempting to cross the road during busy hours of the day.

Three people have died and there are several schools nearby; a child could be next - it’s waiting to happen."

Valentine Hannan, 81 was killed after being struck by a truck on Westgate on January 8, followed by Ms Hepworth’s death. July saw Asaf Mir, 53, break both legs after being hit in the town centre, while on September 30, Phil Carlton, 71, was killed during a collision.

Tracy Brabin MP for Batley & Spen, said: “I appreciate how difficult it must be for those who have been hurt, or lost loved ones on the same stretch of road. These tragic accidents happen too often and something has to change in order to make our community safer.”

Phil Carlton, 71, was known as Mr Bus

In response Ms Brabin convened a meeting on October 5 with councillors, council officers and police representatives regarding the deaths on Westgate.

A Kirklees Council spokeswoman said: “The council remains committed to road safety and have been working with police to look into what could be done to better control pedestrian movements across this busy main road. Unfortunately, as with all busy roads there isn’t always a simple solution and no solution can completely erase risk of an accident.”

The council said it hopes to put a better system in place in the future.

A petition has been set up by local residents here: www.change.org