St Helens Council has worked closely with the family of a hit and run victim to deliver a road safety improvement scheme on a busy borough road.
The two-phase project has seen road marking alterations – as well as new and upgraded pedestrian safety measures – installed along Prescot Road close to where young Violet-Grace Youens was knocked down and killed by a speeding, stolen vehicle in March 2017.
Stage one involved widening the hatching in the centre of the carriageway and applying red anti-skid surfacing to the hatched area, effectively shortening the distance that vehicles have to merge into single file, reducing speed and the need to overtake as a result.
While the second stage included the fitting of two new traffic islands with bollards, and an upgrade to the existing uncontrolled pedestrian crossing point which now has tactile paving at either sides of the pavement and in the centre of the crossing to assist blind or partially sighted pedestrians.
In a fitting tribute to Violet-Grace, the council has also taken part in a trial with ‘Tac-Grid’ to install the new violet coloured tactile paving on the pavements and crossing which is also fitted with a sensor to assist blind or partially sighted people to cross the road safely using a mobile app.
Commenting on the new and improvement safety measures along Prescot Road, Glenn and Rebecca Youens said: “There’s still more work to be done but the changes to Prescot Road are a positive first step forward.
“According to the road safety audits, there are only a few options available to make the road safer but we have done them and will be adding more in the New Year.
“The main thing is the violet coloured crossing which is a visual reminder of what can happen when speeding. We hope this slows people down and we are keen to work with the council on the Drive Safe 4 Violet-Grace campaign.
“We’d like to thank the council for its support.”
St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, Councillor Lynn Clarke, said:
“The welfare of our residents and visitors to St Helens Borough is of paramount importance and we as a council are committed to promoting road safety – whether it’s by undertaking improvement schemes like this – or through or dedicated team of road safety officers who do a fantastic job of raising road safety awareness to people of all ages across St Helens Borough.
“I’d like to thank our engineers, local ward councillors, and all the contractors that were involved in making this scheme possible – and of course to Glenn and Rebecca for their valuable input.
“We look forward to working with them again in the future to make our roads a safer place for all.”
The Prescot Road safety improvement scheme was part funded by West Park ward councillors, using money from their ‘councillor improvement fund’ allocated to bring about improvements in the local community.