HASLAND: Council pledges to review accident blackspot after teen knocked down

Thomas Alcock.
Thomas Alcock.

A schoolboy is lucky to be alive after he was hit by a car in a horror crash at an accident blackspot.

Thirteen-year-old Thomas Alcock suffered serious head injuries after being in collision with a car near Hasland’s “nightmare” traffic lights – which have been blamed for a string of accidents over the past 14 months.

This latest incident has forced council chiefs to bow to public pressure and carry out a review at the crash scene.

Thomas – who suffered deep gashes to his head – was airlifted to Sheffield Children’s Hospital where he spent two days under the care of medics.

Mum Trudy Alcock, 34, of Shakespeare Street, Grassmoor, said: “I was at work and got a phone call about what had happened and my legs turned to jelly.

“It’s been a scary few days – we’ve not been able to eat or sleep.

“It could have been a lot worse but thankfully he’s back at home being his normal self.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who came to his aid.”

Thomas, a pupil at Tupton Hall School, added: “Someone was looking over me that day.”

The family urged pedestrians to take “extreme care” at the lights.

Campaigners claim the “confusing and dangerous” lights have caused several accidents since they were installed.

Resident Denise Baxendale said: “Something needs to be done with these nightmare lights.

“Enough is enough.”

Now, Derbyshire County Council has revealed it will monitor traffic at the controversial junction and give residents the chance to have their say as part of a review to find alternative solutions.

The current layout was created at the junction of Hasland Road and Mansfield Road in December 2011.

Traffic lights and crossings were introduced to replace a mini-roundabout and zebra crossing which were removed following a number of road accidents.

But when the traffic lights and crossings were put in place, residents raised concerns about the new layout – particularly in relation to congestion and the timings of the lights.

County council staff and councillors have worked with the local community, visited the site several times and made changes to the new system to try and address these concerns.

And following a meeting last month, the county council pledged to continue monitoring and reviewing the situation.

Now, after Saturday’s accident, the county council’s senior director for highways and deputy leader, Cllr Simon Spencer, have visited the site.

Cllr Spencer said: “The layout of the junction was initially changed because of the high number of accidents.

“But one accident is still one to many.

“We’re aware of people’s concerns and we said we’d keep a close eye on the situation.

“That’s why I’ve asked the strategic director for highways to carry out a full review of the junction and measures currently in place.”

As part of the review, the county council will:

• Monitor traffic movements using traffic sensors and CCTV

• Work with the Hasland Traffic Light Working Group to try to find an alternative solution

• Ask local people for their views by emailing hasland@derbyshire.gov.uk

• Hold a drop-in event so people can talk to the senior director for highways about problems they’ve experienced at the junction

Councillor Spencer added: “Improving Derbyshire’s roads is one of our top priorities and that was why the new layout was introduced.

“But clearly there’s still work to be done.

“We’ll consult fully with the local community on any changes we propose.

“But first we want to hear from you.

“So please get in touch with any issues you wish to raise about the junction, no matter how big or small.

“We’re always happy to hear from local people.”