Safety plea on Walsall road where teenager was killed in car crash

Worried people living on a Walsall road where a teenager was killed in a crash have pleaded for urgent action to be taken to stop speeding motorists.

Residents in Pelsall Lane want action to be taken
Residents in Pelsall Lane want action to be taken

Residents in Pelsall Lane, Rushall, handed in a petition with more than 500 signatures on it to Walsall Council calling for more safety measures to be implemented on the road.

Highways bosses said this, along with all other potential road safety schemes will be reviewed but warned limited funding meant they had to prioritise. Before the fatal crash, Pelsall Lane was ranked 85th out of 102 potential projects.

People living in the street said there have been a number of incidents with the most tragic being the death of 19-year-old Arjun Singh Gandham.

He was a passenger in a Seat Leon which hit a parked Chevrolet Trax on Pelsall Lane, just after 9pm on March 26. Nothing could be done to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.

Six other people – three men in the Leon and a man, woman and their nine-year-old daughter in the Chevrolet – were all taken to hospital but later discharged.

At an economy and environment scrutiny committee meeting on Thursday, resident Shirley Venables said a string of incidents had resulted in damage to cars and property.

She had also witnessed a pensioner being hospitalised after being hit by a car on Pelsall Lane.

She said: “It is very bad and even worse at night. Because there isn’t a great deal of traffic on the road, they come up so fast. You’re just waiting for the crash.”

Arjun Singh Gandham

Lead petitioner Councillor Vera Waters said: “I understand there are other areas in the borough in front of this and I do agree we could do with more funding which we haven’t got.

“But when our residents are actually suffering these issues you can expect they’ll want to present a petition and speak up about the pain they are suffering.”

Committee member Richard Worrall, who also represents the Rushall-Shelfield ward said: “We have got a rationing system and it really is how it’s dealt with.

“Unfortunately that means right across the borough where residents and councillors are desperate to see something done, it’s not happening simply because the resources aren’t there.

“We’ve all tried to do this and what we come up against is ‘you’re not a priority’.”

Councillor Lee Jeavons added: “I have the greatest of sympathy with residents. There are 84 roads are considered worse than this and you’ve already had a death there – that is terrifying.

“My first message to people is slow down. You might get killed.”

The Seat's door was removed after the crash in Pelsall Road

Walsall Council deputy leader Adrian Andrew said: “Some of this is about personal responsibility and the simple fact is people shouldn’t be speeding.

“Some of the idiots we have on the streets no matter what you put in place, it won’t stop them or deter them.

“On an annual basis, we do review the whole list of road safety schemes and it is a long one. This is one of those that will be looked at as part of the overall review.

“We will be reviewing all of the list and hopefully with a new funding regime, it is likely we will have an increase in highways funding from the Government and we’ll be able to do a little bit more than we’ve been able to do in the past.”

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