Incidents Highlight Eccleston Street Traffic Dangers

By on Wednesday, October 2, 2013

eccleston_streetTwo traffic incidents involving shoppers have provoked increasing concern about vehicles in Prescot town centre.

Pensioner ‘shaken’

On Friday 30 August, an elderly woman was “nudged” by a van reversing down Eccleston Street.

She was not injured, and did not want to tell the police, but bystanders say she was traumatised.

“Didn’t hurt her badly, but she was very, very shocked,” a retailer told Prescot Online. “The screaming was so bad, we actually thought she’d gone underneath the vehicle.”

Another shop owner said she did not witness the incident, but heard shouting and went outside to find the woman “just shaking.”

Staff of a nearby shop took her inside to recover. The driver, who was making a delivery to another shop, was reportedly also shaken.

The incident took place at 2.30pm, although traffic is banned between 10am and 5pm, with gates at Leyland Street and the west end of Eccleston Street preventing access.

Near miss for pedestrians

A second incident happened on Tuesday 1 October, when a delivery van reversed down Eccleston Street from Atherton Street, which is not gated.

The driver allegedly failed to stop when narrowly missing two pedestrians.

According to reports, neither vehicle had reversing alarms.

Morning town centre traffic concerns

In the allowed times, the street can get busy enough to cause concern.

“If you came up here before eight o’clock, you’d think this was a main thorough fare, there’s that many lorries,” a shop assistant said.

Another said that the street was “terrible” before 10am, adding that “even after ten o’clock you’re still getting the vans coming up and down.”

Some shopkeepers said they hadn’t noticed the problem, saying the only annoyance was other traders blocking customers by parking outside their front entrances during the permitted times.

Many are happy with the 10am-5pm restriction, saying that shops need access for delivery. Others also understood that bank security vehicles needed safe access during the daytime. Some suggested an earlier cut-off time of 9am, however.

Council asked to take action

One exasperated business owner was reluctant to go on the record with her comments, claiming Knowsley Council had failed to act on complaints she’d made over the years.

Knowsley Council told Prescot Online their highways team plan to do a traffic survey in the area before deciding what to do to enforce regulations and, if necessary, rethink current controls.

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