THE grandfather of a teenager who lost her life in a road collision in Hapton is leading calls to improve a ‘danger bridge’.
Albert Marsh, 60, has collected more than 700 signatures, across the borough, as part of a campaign for increased safety measures on and around the canal bridge on Manchester Road.
His grand-daughter Estelle Thompson, 17, was the victim of a crash on July 20, which saw a silver Ford Ka collide with a wall, leaving her with fatal injuries.
Mr Marsh, who lives on the Stoops estate, has now drawn up a petition urging Lancashire County Council to consider either speed restrictions or traffic lights on the narrow curve.
Villagers have complained of a number of recent smashes, either side of the bridge, as traffic either careers through the village, or arrives at speed into Hapton, after the long, straight road from Padiham.
Mr Marsh said: “It was just something we wanted to do for Estelle and we have got some great feedback. “In the first few days the response was amazing, from people off our estate and people living in Hapton and Padiham.”
The pensioner said he was prompted to begin the petition after reading the Lancashire Telegraph’s coverage of previous incidents involving the canal bridge.
Just a couple of years ago a motorist collided with one of the walls on the curve, which led to restrictions on the roadway until repairs could be ordered.
And in the past fortnight another driver also lost control on the bend, with a vehicle destroying another large section of the bridge. The motorist then fled the scene.
Estelle’s brother Ben Marsh, of Lawrence Avenue, is supporting his grandfather’s petition and has written his own message, encouraging people to sign up.
It reads: “The reason for wanting some action against the bridge on Manchester Road, Hapton, is that there has been too many accidents caused by speeding and no precautions being taken driving over the bridge.
“For years now we told numerous people how dangerous the bridge can be if precautions are not taken.”
Mr Marsh added: “There have been a number of accidents there over the years and I’ve been in touch with Hapton Parish Council, members of Burnley Borough Council, and Lancashire County Council, and they are all concerned.”
Hapton Councillor Jean Cunningham said: “I’ve been speaking to Mr Marsh, and helping him to get in contact with LCC.
“It’s the old, old story, it’s not the bridge that’s dangerous, it’s the drivers that don’t treat the bridge with respect, and unfortunately Mr Marsh’s family has had to suffer the worst consequences.
“Personally I think it’s going to have to be something that stops them, like a one way system and traffic lights, that’s the only thing that’s going to stop them driving over that bridge fast.
“The three ward councillors will do whatever we can do to make that part of the road safe.”
The petition is online at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/67849.