Accident leads to traffic campaign in Bulwell town centre

Campaign to stop traffic through Bulwell Town centre. Pictured in wheelchair is 84 year old May Richards who was hit by a car in this area. l-r is Jill Downing (May's daughter), Jill Downing, Cllr Jackie Morris and Cllr Ginny Klein.

Campaign to stop traffic through Bulwell Town centre. Pictured in wheelchair is 84 year old May Richards who was hit by a car in this area. l-r is Jill Downing (May's daughter), Jill Downing, Cllr Jackie Morris and Cllr Ginny Klein.

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A LIFE-changing accident to an 84-year-old grandmother has sparked a campaign for greater safety on Bulwell’s town centre pedestrian zone.

An experimental closure to traffic by Nottingham City Council of Pilkington Street, next to the Market Place, took effect on Wednesday and will continue for 18 months.

But the grandma, May Richards, and her daughter, Jill Downing, want all traffic to be banned from the pedestrian precinct except emergency and market traders’ vehicles.

It was on 14th August when Mrs Richards, who lives in Bulwell, was knocked down outside the Boots store by a car that had come down Pilkington Street. She was hospitalised for 58 days with serious injuries to her left leg and arm.

Before the accident, Mrs Richards was strong and independent, but she now has to rely on a wheelchair and zimmer frame to get around.

It was thanks to prompt help from a passing nurse, Maxine Meakin, and staff at Boots that Mrs Richards survived the accident.

Mrs Downing (56), said: “I don’t want anyone else to go through what my mum has.”

The campaign is being supported by Couns Jackie Morris and Ginny Klein, Labour members for Bulwell ward on the city council.

If the campaign is successful, it would controversially mean disabled drivers being included in the ban.

But Coun Mrs Morris said: “There seems no reason why disabled people should not be able to use their wheelchairs or zimmer frames to get from their cars to shops.”

Attempts will be made to provide more parking for disabled vehicles close to the pedestrian area.

A council spokesman said the closure of Pilkington Street would be clearly marked with solar-powered signs. Holders of restricted access permits and blue badges can access the area via Main Street and Montague Street and exit via Commercial Road.