Residents are campaigning for a pedestrian crossing on a busy road in Cradley Heath following the death of a pensioner who was knocked down in a hit-and-run crash.
Great-grandfather Bernard Betts, aged 85, died after being hit by a car while he was crossing Barrs Road in Cradley Heath in January. The tragedy led to appeals being launched to find the driver by West Midlands Police and the Express & Star. Councillor Ann Shackleton today publicly called for Sandwell Council to take action following the popular retired bricklayer’s death.
Residents in her Old Hill and Cradley Heath ward have long called for action – but the council has refused a crossing because of a lack of evidence of accidents on the road, Councillor Shackleton said.
Instead, the council proposed to put a pedestrian island near to the Valley Road turn-off, about 2,000 ft from where Mr Betts was knocked down, near the Lee Road turn-off.
Councillor Shackleton said: “I called on the council to put a stop to the plan and carry out a full investigation of the road following Mr Betts’ death.
“This has been agreed and since then there has been a feasibility study and two speed watches carried out by police along the road.
“The road needs a pedestrian crossing somewhere along it to simply slow the traffic down.”
She added: “The whole community is shaken by Mr Betts’ death. Everyone has been affected deeply by it and we all want some action to be taken to prevent such a tragedy happening again.”
Mr Betts was knocked down near to his home in Barrs Road as he left to take his dog Jack for a walk on January 16, and was taken to Russells Hall Hospital but died 18 days later.
Keen Aston Villa fan and retired bricklayer Mr Betts met wife Lilian 68 years ago and they had lived in Barrs Road for more than 30 years.
The family of the great-grandfather of seven is now hoping to have a park bench installed in his memory, possibly in Haden Hill Park, where he liked to take Jack every day.
After the crash the pet dog ran away but was found later in a park.
The Express & Star previously launched a poster campaign to try to find the driver of the car, but no-one has yet handed themselves in. Police are continuing the investigation. Sgt Gavin Green, from the collision investigation unit, said: “The investigation is progressing, and we would still welcome anyone with information to come forward.”