Furious Bentley residents are demanding immediate safety improvements at the village crossroads after a six-year-old girl was pinned against a brick wall by a car on Sunday afternoon.
The girl was riding a bicycle when she was hit and suffered a serious leg injury – but mercifully nothing worse – and was discharged from hospital later the same day.
The police confirmed officers were called to the junction of London Road and Station Road at 2.52pm on Sunday after a crash involving a red BMW 1 series and a silver Ford Focus. The BMW then collided with the six-year-old cyclist, pinning her against a brick wall.
Villagers claim it is the sixth crash at the crossroads this year, and have been pressing the police and county council “for years” to make safety improvements there.
The police asks anyone with information about the collision to call 101 quoting reference 44230306537.
Hampshire county councillor Mark Kemp-Gee has assured Bentley villagers a safety upgrade at the village crossroads is a “priority” after Sunday’s horror crash.
The cause of the crash is as yet undetermined.
But after a history of crashes at the crossroads, villagers want immediate action and have identified safety issues including:
- Speeding motorists, with 60mph to 70mph speeds recorded in the village’s 30mph limit.
- Unclear signage, with road signs obscured by ‘green slime’ and overgrowth.
- Worn-away road markings.
- Satellite navigation systems not identifying the crossroads as a ‘give way’ junction.
Mobile speed cameras have been utilised by the police in the past, but at the wrong times of day, say villagers.
A petition (https://tinyurl.com/3en5espv) was started by Richard Godden just hours after the crash, and as of Tuesday had already been signed by more than 500 people.
Mr Godden stated: “People in Bentley are concerned that recent road accidents at the village crossroads will soon result in death or serious injury.
“Put simply, someone is likely to die if the appropriate authority do not introduce road calming measures and ensure that overgrown trees do not limit the view of key roadside signage.
“Several accidents have occurred in the same spot, with the latest one involving a car squashing a child’s bike against a recently repaired brick wall, knocked down only three months ago in a separate road accident.”
Responding to the outcry for safety improvements, Cllr Mark Kemp-Gee (Conservative, Alton Rural) said: “Following intensive discussions with Bentley Parish Council yesterday and subsequently with Hampshire County Council’s traffic control and safety engineering team, I can assure residents this is being treated as a priority and was so before the weekend’s accident at the Bentley crossroads.
“Design work to improve safety there was already in hand and the designs being formulated with safety engineering should be approved and available by the end of the month.
“As soon as they have been approved there will be a site visit between myself, Hampshire Highways and Bentley Parish Council to discuss their implementation.”