Lucky-to-be-alive grandma wants action on 'dangerous' Ashfield road after crash

A grandmother is calling for action to improve a “dangerous” road in Ashfield where an accident left her lucky to be alive.

By Richard Silverwood
Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 4:30 pm
How Selston grandmother Cathy McLean's car ended up after her terrifying accident on Park Lane. She escaped with only minor aches and pains.

Cathy McLean, 49, has collected more than 680 signatures for a petition, which is being presented to a full meeting of Nottinghamshire County Council tomorrow (Thursday).

It follows a terrifying crash she had on the B6018 Park Lane, often referred to as Bentinck Lane, which is the main route that runs from Selston to Kirkby and Sutton.

Driving from Selston, where she lives, at 7.30 one morning in February, she lost control of her car on black ice. It skidded, spun and ended upside down by the side of the road. Miraculously, she escaped with only aches and pains.

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Coun David Martin, who represents Selston, is backing Cathy's campaign for improvements to be made to the road.

"Somebody pulled up and helped me out of the back door,” said Cathy. “I don’t know how I walked away from it. My car could have ended up in the nearby river.

"I was only doing about 30mph, but this is a dangerous stretch of road. Over the years, there have been numerous extremely bad accidents and, luckily. nobody has lost their life yet.

"There are issues with the condition of the road that need addressing. It is always covered in mud and, during winter, water runs across it, due to lack of drainage, causing bad patches of ice.

"The road needs better drainage, anti-slip coverage, better barriers on the corners and potholes repaired.”

The aftermath of another accident on Park Lane in recent years.

Cathy’s online petition, at Change.org, has received more than 10,000 views and won the support of many residents who have told her about other accidents, including at low speeds.

One woman, Sally Foster, posted: “Something must be done before a life is lost.” While a firefighter, Richard Thompson, revealed that he had attended “many collisions” on the road.

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Cathy’s campaign has also been backed by Coun David Martin, of the Ashfield Independents, who represents Selston on the county council and will be handing over the petition.

Coun Martin agrees that remedial work is needed on what is a rural road with no kerbs, particularly repaired and improved drainage. But he is worried that many crashes are not being fully recorded by police because they might involve only one vehicle and no injuries. Thus the accident statistics, held by the council, are skewed.

“I am convinced the number of accidents is falling under the radar, therefore the attention of highways officers is not being drawn to the road,” said Coun Martin.

"I hope this petition will raise the profile of the issue and get the council to focus on it.

"I want this road looking at. There is no particular budget set aside, but there is a risk of accidents and death.

"I have been in talks with highways officers, and I am trying to find a sensible, cost-effective solution to make the road safer.”

For the county council, Coun Neil Clarke, chairman of the transport and environment committee, said: “We await receipt of the petition and acknowledge the concerns that have been raised about Park Lane.

"We have completed several safety schemes on the road in previous years, including the most recent last July.

"This was the introduction of road signs and markings on the bend next to the rail crossing where, since 2015, there have been three accidents involving injury in dry conditions.”

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