The completion of a road safety scheme following a tragic accident on Westlea Drive has emphasised the need for care on the part of drivers and awareness by pedestrians and cyclists.
The work by Swindon Council to slow traffic close to Westlea Park follows the death of Ashley Whiteway, 6, in August 2008. He and his friend Dean Harle ran from behind a bus stopped on Westlea Drive and were hit by a double decker coming the other way. Dean, 7, survived but Ashley died at the scene.
The coroner at the inquest in September 2009 recorded a verdict of accidental death but called upon the council to consider introducing a 20mph limit on the road and other safety measures.
Whilst the road has remained a 30mph zone, the area where the accident took place has been changed by:
• moving the bus stops apart;
• repairing the area where the footpath and cycle way drops down from the bridge over Tewkesbury Way and building out the road slightly to reduce the width of the carriageway;
• introducing a coloured road surface to highlight the crossing point;
• erecting ‘children playing’ warning signs to highlight Westlea park.