DCSIMG

Victory at last for road campaigners

CAMPAIGN TEAM Coun Vivien Lees-Hamilton with Upper Hopton Road Safety Committee members Richard Auty, James Bland and Marlene Chambers.

CAMPAIGN TEAM Coun Vivien Lees-Hamilton with Upper Hopton Road Safety Committee members Richard Auty, James Bland and Marlene Chambers.

A family have given their thanks to the community for backing a road safety in the wake of their son’s death.

Declan Newsome, 15, was knocked down by a car in Upper Hopton during his paper round in July 2012.

The Castle Hall Academy pupil suffered severe head injuries and died in hospital three weeks later.

Although an inquest did not speed was not a factor in the accident, it led to calls for traffic calming measures in Hopton Lane.

This week campaigners welcomed news that a plateau and four sets of speed cushions will be installed.

Declan’s dad Kenneth said: “Our son had his tragic accident from which he never recovered on that hill, and we believe if traffic calming measures had been in place at the time he may have been alive today.

“We feel that Upper Hopton will become a better and safer place for road users and pedestrians alike. Our son’s loss was not in vain.”

Coun Vivien Lees-Hamilton worked with Upper Hopton Road Safety Committee members to support the Newsome family’s goal.

She said: “People in the community took it up which has been good.”

The traffic calming measures will run from the Travellers Rest pub just past the junction with Hopton Drive.

Coun Lees-Hamilton said: “We’re going to alter some of the warning signs alongside the road to make it clearer for drivers that it’s hazardous.

“There will also be a plateau the full width of the road as well as four sets of speed cushions. We hope drivers are going to hit it and slow down.”

When the committee renewed calls for action in September, Kirklees Council said police had only recorded three unrelated injury accidents in the previous 15 months.

But last month four people were hospitalised after a car flipped onto its roof in Hopton Lane near Hill Park.

Mr Newsome said the family were full of gratitude to everyone who had helped secure the safety improvements.

He said: “Both Declan’s mum and I would like to give thanks to all of the many people of Upper Hopton who fought with Council Lees Hamilton and her colleagues or signed the petition.”

 

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